Posted on: 04.10.2022.

Author: ssvetec

What is helicopter parenting?

Helicopter parenting is a modern parenting style that emerged as a concept in the last decade. The name "helicopter" comes from the fact that such parents "hover" over their child, monitor him, and can't wait to "land" and solve all his problems. Because of the fear of what might happen to the child, helicopter parents watch every step of their child so that no mistake is made.

This form of parenting has become more and more common recently, and it is in complete contrast to the free upbringing of children applied by parents who allow their children face challenges and mistakes on their own and to learn from them.

Helicopter parents, on the one hand, provide a large amount of support to the child with open and assertive communication, but at the same time they are intrusive towards their children, they do not allow them to develop independence and independence. They are characterised by a strong concern for their own children and the control of their behaviour as well as active involvement in their lives in order to achieve the success they seek to achieve. Such parents are very controlling and adamant about how they regulate the behaviour of the child. Though they actively contribute to helping the child succeed, they do it in a way that does not give them their independence and their own choice.

Consequences of helicopter parenting
They are worried about their children, even in a relatively safe environment, and it often happens that they solve the child's problems for them, follow their every step and are overly involved in the child's social life. The result of this kind of upbringing is the lack of autonomy and independence of the child, a lack of social and emotional skills, but also a strong need for domination and being right. The children of these parents may develop lower problem-solving skills, lower communication skills, and low self-esteem. This may make children feel unable to cope with life situations independently. Since helicopter parents try to satisfy their child's every need and protect them from unpleasant experiences, this can lead to children developing expectations that they should be treated that way by all people and thus become demanding adults who have difficulty forming close relations. Additionally, excessive protection may also result in the development of social anxiety and insecurity because children cannot acquire the necessary levels of autonomy and control over their own lives, nor can they acquire adequate social skills.

Preventing helicopter parenting
It is natural and understandable that each parent takes care of their child and wishes to help them make their life as easy and enjoyable as possible, but it's important to know that too much care and help can have a negative impact on the child. For a child to develop important life skills, they need to be exposed to situations where they are being taught.

Allow a child to take responsibility, make mistakes in his or her actions and become an independent adult. Do not give the child ready-made solutions or answers, but ask them questions that will help them find the answer themselves. The obligations and responsibilities of the child are not yours and are not yours to resolve but to lead the child and allow it to succeed by itself. It is important to always think about what is best for the child in the long run, for instance. "If I often clean the toys instead of my child who is mature enough to do it himself then I teach him that others will still do his job for him". Think about the values and skills you teach your child before deciding to solve a problem.

After all the main goal of parenting is for the child to become an independent adult and to be able to take care of himself in all areas of life instead of needing someone's help to function. Therefore, motivate your child and be patient and supportive when they need it.


Written by: Marica Marasović, mag.psych.

MBM Mental Health Center