Helicopter parenting is defined as a parent (or parents) who are extremely invested in their child's everyday life and activities. It goes beyond making sure your child is safe or doing well. Helicopter parents will go to ridiculous lengths to ensure that their child is 100 percent okay. This can range from tracking their cellphones just to figure out their every step, all the way to doing their homework to ensure that their child gets a good grade. Again- it can get pretty ridiculous.
Yet a new study has come out to reveal that helicopter parenting can lead to what's known as "low self-regulation & social competence". In other words, parents try their hardest to justify being the way they are by claiming that it's for the benefit of their kids. But the truth of the matter is that the few rewards that come from helicopter parenting go to the parents.
"Unfortunately, I think the term for those children is 'hothouse children'. I think they've been raised to be these sort of delicate flowers under these very well-controlled conditions and -- just like a tropical plant -- they're vulnerable whenever those conditions are exceeded, which is a scary thought," explained Kristin Moilanen, associate professor of child development and family studies.
Helicopter parenting is also known to build resentment within the child against their own parents. Their parents' need to constantly help them and do things for them can hurt a child's sense of self-concept, as well as their ability to self-regulate. Children want to do things and figure out life for themselves, yet the parents won't even give them the chance to do exactly that.
"It can get messy for those kids really fast. In a sense, they get caught between their parents' desires, even if [the child] knows what's best for themselves," Moilanen said.
She added that some children subjected to helicopter parenting need time to recover from their experiences. Some need oversight in order to function properly as an adult. However, some children turn out okay and are able to "adult" well. Worse, there's currently no way to know how children who had helicopter parents will turn out as parents themselves.
"Most kids turn out just fine and learn to 'adult' on their own," she explained. "We do know that people tend to repeat the parenting that they receive, so I would say the chances are good that those children who were raised by helicopter parents would probably act in kind."