Characteristics and Consequences of Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter parenting has major consequences on children's development as it affects their self-esteem, especially when they have to face the real world. Continue reading to find out how to avoid this harmful parenting style.
Characteristics and Consequences of Helicopter Parenting

Written by Ana Luzardo

Last update: 27 May, 2022

It’s normal to love your children and want to help them. However, helicopter parenting, as psychology refers to it, is an unhealthy type of behavior you must either prevent or stop if you’re already doing it.

Hyper-parenting is turning children into models of “perfect” untouchable beings. It takes away their duties and defects, and robs them of their autonomy.

Continue reading to find out more about this concept!

What is helicopter parenting?

This style of parenting model is about excessive supervision of one’s children. However, this way of being on top of them is also about getting them to meet the expectations of excellence in almost any activity.

As you can imagine, children become status symbols parents try to attain by enrolling them into all kinds of extracurricular activities to give them an advantage in life.

These little ones can play an instrument and also any sport and get perfect grades. They must also adhere to daily rigorous agendas to reach their parents’ standards.

Indeed, parents control and pay excessive attention to their children’s lives to get them to excel in life and give them the opportunities they didn’t have. Thus, the activities of these are the most important thing in the world. Not only are they overprotective of the young ones but solve every single one of their problems.

The term “helicopter parents” is a reference to how these adults constantly orbit their children and control their lives. In turn, steamroller parents take over their children’s lives “for their own good.” Hyper-parenting comprises these two forms of overprotection.

A little prince and his doting parents.
Helicopter parenting is a form of overprotection mixed with demands for the child to be a source of pride and status.

Consequences of helicopter parenting

This type of parenting has consequences on a child’s development. The most notorious part of hyper-parenting is these adults create inflated and conceited adults by constantly overvaluing their achievements.

There are other consequences, here are some of them.

1. Repression of development

Children need to deal with conflict in the early stages of their lives to become aware of the world around them.

However, hyper-parented children seldom have to face conflict because parents won’t let them. In fact, they solve every single problem for them and turn them into codependent beings. These children grow up with zero ability for effort and never have time to play.

2. Creation of fears and insecurities.

Hyper-parented children will be terrified and full of insecurities as soon as they have to face the world. This is because they’ve never experienced life as such.

This is counterproductive though. One of the fears of hyper parents is that their children will be unhappy and have no friends. Hence the paradox of the parenting style.

3. A low tolerance for frustration

Frustration is an impossibility to satisfy a need or desire. A characteristic of hyper-parenting is children do not need to experience frustration, fear, and worry.

Hyper-parents don’t say “no” to any desire or request from their children and will always try to please them to overprotect them.

However, limiting frustration when they’re young will turn them into adolescents and adults who won’t tolerate not getting their way at work or school. In fact, these people are usually exasperated at the prospect of not getting what they want, because they always got it.

People with a low tolerance for frustration react with anger, aggression, or withdrawal when they don’t reach their goal. What parents need to understand is that learning to deal with frustration is important for healthy emotional development.

A frustrated child.
The future frustration of children raised under hyperparenting styles develops a self-esteem problem.

4. Stressed families

The family becomes overly stressed to meet itineraries as they take on a huge burden in terms of children’s activities, providing them with everything they want and scheduling every activity to which they must also take them.

Find out Parenting Styles: What Kind of Parent Are You?

How to prevent helicopter parenting

Finally, the most important thing to avoid hyper-parenting is to realize the mistake and abandon this style. The first step is to give your child the autonomy they need according to their age, such as arranging their own clothes and toys and allowing them to make some decisions.

The family must leave the scheduled childhood aside. You must allow the child to be alone in some activities they enjoy and are good at so they can discover their abilities and interests. Allow them to make mistakes and experience failure – they don’t have to be perfect!

In addition, stop trying to solve problems for them. This is because it only hurts their self-esteem in the long run and makes them feel incompetent when things don’t go their way.

Children must learn to be imperfect humans. They’ll face reality when they go out into the world and realize life isn’t as rosy as their parents told them it was.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.