The Psychological Influence of the Helicopter Parents to Their Children

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I wish my parents had a better hobby than me (Memum). Today, many children, whether toddlers or teens, who go to college, find themselves confined and dominated by their parents. These parents observe, judge and change all movements, decisions, and opinions there. Such habits do not give them the chance to learn to make their own choices. This raises the question, is it really safe to be solely restricted and regulated by his or her parent figures for a child who is to grow their own independence! Scientists and psychologists have tried to show the contrary. Even in religion, the bible says that there is time for everything. With that principal, there is time for a kid to be a kid. This is an important stage to child’s growth. This is where the kid makes mistakes that cannot impact there life, and if it did, they have enough time to make changes to this mistakes.

Hoverer, if we insist on perfection in the child stage, the mistakes this kid is going to make in his adult life will be unbearable. Most of these kinds of kids live their adult lives that are sad and full of shambles. The best solution is to let the kid be a kid, when they grow up start holding them to that standard, where they can now stand by their action.

A child that has the freedom of express and choice not only to the parents but also to the community learns a lot from the community. Different skills or rather so many skills and knowledge cannot be taught. The only way to learn them is to experience them. Sometimes people have to learn the hard way. They say people who are educated, are not learned. This is because learning entails knowledge and wisdom, this are not value that you acquire by sitting at home and going to class. You have to meet people and from them learn to differentiate between good people and bad people. Learn the characters of people; we don’t have the same characteristic, people are different. Hence, we cannot be approached the same way. To be a wise person, you have to know all this. The only way to know this is to go out there and meet people. These are all the opportunities and important lessons that the protective parents are denying their children by locking them away.

The very life the parents are denying there children is the very life they grew in. Are they implying that they are not worthy being with dignity and respect for the life they grew in! There parent gave then the time to be kids. This is a stage that someone has to undergo; if a child does not go through this process; the law of compensation catches on to them while they are grown up. They start behaving like kids, just because they did not go through that stage in their life. It catches on to them at the adult stage.

This is where a grown man starts playing with the kid. Focus on the things that kids are doing, dress like a teenage, trend with materials that are beneath them and they are grown man. This is not because these people are stupid but the law of compensation catches up to them. Whatever they missed in their childhood, that stage recreates itself later in there adult stage. This is where the parents start blaming on drugs and social media but this is not the problem. They are, they did not play there roll as parents, which is to supports the child to grow into the greatest person they can be. Instead, they grow into irresponsible clowns in the community.

For a while back, scientists and psychologists have been working over proving that through a desire of the parents to keep their children safe and to encourage their success, Helicopter parents often use diverse forms of abuse, which leads to over-protective parents. Thus, unintentionally damage their children’s inner-most psychological core and limit their children’s moral growth, this can have long-lasting effects on a child to adulthood. For those children who grow into damaged adults, this poor parenting can be prevented through permissive parenting techniques. This is where children make mistake and learn from them.

Helicopter parents are phenomenon. An ever-growing group of parents obsessed with their children’s safety and success, hovering vigilantly over children, keeping them from making mistakes, taking risks by insulating them from everything that appears as bad influence. Through keeping their children off of danger in the name of protecting their future, is keeping them from truly learning.

We can’t deny the fact that times are changing, but it would not be wrong to state that the law still give a child the right to play. This is why we have play fields. If we are worried about the security of our children, them we know exactly where to this issue, the government. This would be a national problem, and the parents should address it to the government, after all the purpose of the government is to protect. Let as not lose sight of what is right and what is wrong, in the name of protecting.

If we consider an instance of the professional basket ballers and the footballers who are making a living off of this sports. If their parents protected them from going out there to play these games, would they be where they are right now if they never had the opportunity to try on their own! The helicopter parents concentrate mostly on protection, where their children only have to be in school then straight home. What if these children are not good in education, what is the only short they have in life are though sports, Will they ever be able to tell or know!

There was a time when helicopter parents were a rare term. These times the parents were rather uninvolved in their children’s lives. The children were sent out to go play while the parents did not insist on tracking their every move. These children grow up to be people to look up to. Our very parents grew during this time and they had there parent give them enough time to play around. Why can’t they do the same for their children, what changed! Childhood today looks very different to the life a child had before the early 1980s. Nonetheless, it is crucial to be aware of the fact that over-controlling parents have always been around; however, the acknowledgment of those parents has only ever been present since the mid-1980s. A series of four shifts is the way of parenting that caught the entire American populations giving attention to helicopter parenting and made it so popular (Wiley, 67).

The first shift officially began through the increased awareness of child abductions in 1983. The incidents done by people such as Adam Walsh have fueled people to have their attention brought to the problem in the country. We don’t deny the fact that the story of the abduction and murder of a child named Adam Walsh was a dramatic event that shocked and affected the entire American population, but that does not mean we should not live our lives to the level best we can. Abductions happen everywhere, even in the house. No one or nowhere is safe. This incident led Walsh’s father to establish the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 1984. This act and the increasing faces of missing children displayed on the newspapers and milk cartons created an incessant fear of strangers. The increased fear of strangers further induced the desire in parents to know exactly where their children were at any given time. It also gave them the desire to protect their children at all cost from anything that could potentially harm them. (Lythcott-Haims, 70)

The second shift occurred in 1983 alongside the publication of A Nation at Risk, a report claiming to provide evidence that a deteriorating educational system was undermining America’s vitality (Nelson par 4). It also contended that kids who were unable to compete academically with counterparts would not be successful as adults. The shift led to the idea that children weren’t doing enough schoolwork. It led to federal policies such as no child left behind and race to the top to introduce an “achievement culture. The achievement culture emphasizes on rote memorization and teaching. They used this to compare against the increased competition from students in Singapore, China, and South Korea where the practices, strict regulations, ways of learning and discipline used by helicopter parents are very common. Dr. Denise Pope, in his book, Stanford school of education lecture, stated that, the sudden desire displayed by the American government for children, to become better and more successful; through inviting these strict practices; and by enforcing the need for higher grades, and increasing the amount of homework damages children. He continues by stating that this threw students and parents into a world where both parent and students are struggling to keep up under the weight of homework and school becoming numb to other activities.

The third shifts were less impactful, yet still an important factor. It came with the self-esteem movement, Julie states in her article to be “a philosophy that gained popularity in the United States in the 1980s that said we could help kids succeed in life if we valued their personhood rather than their outcomes (Lythcott-Haims). The protection parent’s offer promotes low self-esteem in front of people thus a deep disservice to an entire generation.

There was a sudden unspoken desire to change games and competitions in such a way that children would simply receive trophies for attending without needing to win. However, the importance of winning a competition is the self-esteem and independence, showing that you can do it. If you win without actually winning, how would you start believing in yourself! How do you know you can! The children actual sport where they play and win give then high self-esteem. This is one of the greatest self-esteems to be achieved that no one can give even by handing gift. The confident we earned through taking risks and developing skills is one of a kind. Over protection is denying children the opportunity of independently advancing their character development. This self-esteem issue has become an obstacle that proved to be an issue, especially later in adulthood. This is due to the fact that these children were already a step behind when it came to focus on acquiring confidence and autonomy.

Steve Baskin, a clinical psychologist working in Stamford, CT, explains that, “when children stretch themselves, they expand the senses of their own capability and then feel confident to tackle the next challenge (2016). Confidence comes from competence “Hence, it is crucial for children to take the first step and have the opportunity to experience this independently from their parents.

Regardless, according to Amanda Ripley, who is an author and senior member of the Emerson Collective, she stated that a collective idea with the goal of removing barriers to opportunity make people live to their full potential” (Ripley). This movement was also mentioned to be a uniquely American phenomenon. She also continues digging deep on the very subject in her book The Smartest Kids in the World explaining how helicopter parenting affects children negatively. The fourth and final shift occurred and the idea of play-date sprung to existence with it (Ripley, p 67). The play date was born as a useful scheduling tool at a time when large numbers of women began entering the workforce.

The combination between more families where both parents worked and the increasing demand for daycare meant that fewer children were able to go home after school. This brought the challenge of finding time for play and free time for the children was becoming an increasing burden. The solutions at that time were playdates. As Lythcott-Haims mentions in her book that, once parents started scheduling play, they then began observing play, which led to involving themselves in play (90). This progression invited parents into the lives of their children and allowed the idea, of invading the children’s private space, to take root. This over time began to fester and metamorphose into a need for the parents to involve themselves further in the lives of their children, and remained exceedingly attentive with everything that their children were doing.

Disregarding the stated reason, the transformation also occurred because the bigger the group of woman who involved themselves in play-dates the fewer the chances for children to actually play independently. This left children with nothing of their own. As soon as a certain number of women started involving themselves with play-dates, the number began growing critically high. The idea of allowing children to play unsupervised or leaving children alone at home became a strict taboo.

Meanwhile, the sudden seriousness of injuries that could occur during play-dates and other times and the following lawsuits became apparent and prompted a complete overhaul of public playgrounds globally. The very nature of play, which is a foundational element in the life of a developing child, began to change from this time (Lythcott-Haims 103). Play changed in such a way that children were unable to make their own choices or make their own mistakes from which they usually learned their lessons. A child that did not learn his or her lesson in her childhood mistakes would not be able to use the knowledge gained while growing up and often falls victim to making these mistakes during adulthood. At this time, it’s late to learn, they are above the learning curve and the consequences of our action are more severe as adults. In any case, later in 1990, child development researchers Foster Cline and Jim Fay further observed these shifts and settled upon calling parents that hover over their children in a dangerous manner and in opposition to their actual responsibilities of raising a child to independence as the famous “Helicopter parents” (Lythcott-Haims, ).

Moreover, in an attempt to keep their children safe by controlling them, Helicopter parents may harm and limit their children’s moral growth in an irreparable way. Moral growth is known to be the period of time in the life of a child in which he or she develops proper attitudes and opinions towards certain things and people in society, without forgetting focusing on social and cultural norms, laws, and rules. The most common way to assess moral growth is through Kohlberg’s theory of moral development.

Lawrence Kohlberg was an American psychologist who believed that moral development or growth was a slow process that occurred over time. This process is based upon six distinct moral stages, which are equal to all persons. Kohlberg was of the opinion that every child would only make progress by mastering each individual stage, one at a time(Lythcott-Haims, p 145) A child has to be given the opportunity to make mistakes, to become aware of what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, many Helicopter parents are known to dispute between either fully planning their children’s entire life or never give their child any praise if they do something correctly. There are also extreme cases where both incidents are present. In any case, both of these results in the loss of moral independence. Parents, who do not allow their children to make their own decisions, instead plan their entire life from birth, marriage, career and beyond cause irreparable damage, this is due to the fact that the children will be unaware of how take care of themselves and present themselves.

In addition, they will be unable to plan their own lives, often resulting in children that become dependent and indecisive regarding the simplest life choices. This condition can also occur through not receiving any praise. Children that never receive praise cannot assess their actions as either good or bad; hence, they do not put any effort into anything. They never make it whether in school or relationships with other people, and oftentimes they do not achieve what they might have if they had received praise (Williams). When a child receives praise there is something occurring within their minds. Praising the child for, in this example, getting a passing grade on a test, the child will feel proud, a feeling that will change into the believe of being capable. Thus, a capable child will feel effective when he/she realizes those good things like the feeling he/she sees from her parents when he/she puts effort into something. This will push them and therefore attempts to work harder in order to receive more good things.

Additionally, a child that receives praise for his/hers hard work will determinately discover the feeling of acceptance as he/she believes to be understood by his/her parent, leading to the child accepting his/herself too, an act that will strengthen his/her confidence. This good feeling will multiply as parents continue to praise them on their behavior or achievements; they will keep up the good work and develop self-esteem.

Furthermore, many helicopter parents do not see their children as independent and thinking autonomous individuals, instead, as pieces of property and puppets, they are able to dictate to and control at will, and this never makes the child grow. This type of thinking expressed by helicopter parents creates the largest issue and block to moral growth on children. This is because these types of parents believe that their children are only to obey which often leads to children succumbing to a subservient attitude. One of the issues, if not the largest issue that can occur, attempting to rescue a child from subservient attitude is extraordinarily difficult.

The term subservient is often related to other terms such as ‘obedient,’ ‘compliant,’ ‘subjecting to” or “complying with which are submissive words. This is the kind of children the helicopter parents, bring up in the society and it is usually a condition something or someone is forced onto. When they have no ability to think, criticize, or make decisions by themselves, through the act of constant abuse, they are never respected. Such children are proven to have no skill in listening to their intuition because they never had the opportunity to figure out independently what is acceptable, correct, or wrong. Something they would have been able to acquire through making mistakes, yet they were not given the opportunity as their parents refrained them of miscalculating.

These children are also unaware of the so-called ‘gut feeling’ or intuition and are, thus, unable to trust their intuition. They being numb towards the feeling, blind to the use of intuition make them poor leaders.. The “gut feeling” is often explained as a rapid cognition or condensed reasoning that takes advantage of the brain’s built-in shortcuts; however, it is also a lesson learned from experiences attempting to come to surface in a desire to protect the body of making the same mistake. (Flora)

Of course, a child that has never made a mistake is unable to attain this “gut feeling” aiding in the process of becoming subservient. Children that have become prey to a subservient attitude for a longer period are known not to take any overall responsibility for anything, including their own lives as they have become very dependent on their parents. In very extreme cases, the children adopt a dualistic thought pattern so that they consider something only bad or good, black or white and so they become unable to make individual decisions and make up their own opinions without the help of their parents (Coste, 34). .

Likewise, in the belief that they are not important, a feeling that is also emphasized through the parent’s rejection of using praise upon them makes them submissive. Submissive children become passive, and passive children turn into unaware and incapable adults. An adult that is permanently unable to reach any higher social position where they are required to give orders. Hence a person becomes extremely morally limited (Williams, 56). This represents the extreme importance of good guidance and support the children require from their parents to become confident and independent later in adulthood. (Qualifax, 78)

At the same time, a subservient attitude is likewise a result of the limitation of emotional and character growth.

Character growth is a term used for the development of emotion and social stability. It is a term Helicopter parents have come to forget the importance of. This is because they desire immediate and strict obedience from their offspring. A very common issue that occurs and manifest in the parenting of the Helicopter parents. However, to receive this, they commonly use corrective or disciplinary methods that are presently identified as emotional and verbal abuse that profoundly harm the child’s self-esteem (Williams, 23). Williams also states that Helicopter parents have the tendency to intensely criticize and compare their diametrically different children’s natural abilities. This behavior cause harm to the children innermost psychological core, resulting to the growth of a feeling of irrelevance leaving the children to become absolutely abhorred.

In emphasis of this, Williams also states that many over controlling parents consider their children’s physical and emotional differences as imperfections and in dire need of correction. They once again end up with the decision of corrective or disciplinary methods, which in this case occurs as a denigration of their children in order for them to ‘shape up’. The following effect is, however, the opposite. The child creates a permanently poor body and self-image leaving the child emotionally and socially unstable, as they do not consider themselves of any worth or of much importance, In consideration of that, such Helicopter parents are considered soul-destroying and a dream executioner of potential Einstein, Mozart, and other freethinkers. (Williams, 56)

Nevertheless, Helicopter parents have the ability to do even worse. They are able to discourage their child’s individualism and “non-conformity”, according to Williams. This is the result of a parent misunderstanding the signs of character development and reacting in a wrong way, often with the earlier mentioned supposedly corrective or disciplinary methods. An example of such is usually when a child begins to show signs of independence, creativity or has an innovative idea and it is misjudged as outlandish or as a rebellious act/sign by the parents. It is commonly the cause of a bad parent-child relationship where communication is lacking. In situations where communication is lacking and children do show signs of independent ideas or opinions, parents begin to panic, and tighten the leash their children even more.

Although most would think that reason for parents being so strict and overprotective is simply because they begin to worry that their children are about to rebel or lose respect, hence their desire for their children to be even more perfect and blemish-free increases, is false (Honeycutt, Brandon). William in this context seconds this very idea stating that in many families it is simply an excuse to create unrealistic expectations and blindly force their children into a subservient attitude. Their desire for their children to become successful makes them blind to the emotional and social state their children are in, believing that if a child makes mistakes it means ineptitude and utter stupidity and therefore perfection and obedience is success. Again, this commensurate to abuse as it leads the child to lose what sense of initiative and bravado they have for themselves and instead, becomes extremely anxious and risk-aversive (Neuharth, 34). This may cause a repetitive result of the child not wanting to attempt anything unless forced to do so (William p 45). However, this overprotectiveness and desire to control their children can lead to either unwillingness or subservient attitude or perhaps forces children to search for ways to escape this controlling grasp. Thus, making them ‘escape’ in the only way they see possible. This is usually through rebelling against their parents. Some things parents principally wanted to prevent, but ultimately caused by their unwillingness to allow their children to grow by themselves (Honeycutt, 47).

Consequently, Helicopter parents harm their children not only by controlling their academic level but also in their private life. They intrude into their children’s most confidential circle and exert too much psychological control over them. This is known to cause unhappy children that become dependent in their later life. Dr. Mai Stafford of the MRC Unit proved this for Lifelong Health & Ageing at UCL, who studied thousands of Britons from their teens to their sixties. He stated that adults whose parents intruded their private life or kept them from making individual choices and making mistakes showed that they were unhappier and had a lower mental well-being. Experts from University College London mentioned that the life-long negative influence was very similar to that experienced by people who were faced with bereavement (Fleig, 39).

The ultimate result of the negative involvement with their children and demoralizing and limiting character development in children is that it causes under-involvement in decision-making. It also lowers the ability to cope with even the smallest things in life. This leads to no self-experience with self-advocacy, managing personal time, and self-reliance become a problem. The issue with this is that not only does it affect them in their later life when they are in search for a job, it also make them go for low-quality jobs that they are overqualified for (Grace M. Williams). Parent forget that higher education institutions deals with students with the ability to deal with critical thinking, problem-solving, and ambiguity, they still follow them there to check up on them (Ricks, P 34). Trust is a value that the Helicopter Parents are lacking and by not giving their children an opportunity to defend themselves. Therefore finds it extremely difficult to survive independently in such institutions.

There are capabilities or the potentials that human being can mesmerize us with. This is manifested mostly at a young growing mind, at this time; these minds ought to be left to do what they can do better. The parents should help nurture this minds not suppress them. Look at the richest heads on the planet right now, some dropped from college. Some ventured into the world of creation in the cording world. This is not something a child or a person just pick from the thin air. They have to be around these kinds of people. Those understands the same language, talk that very language though which they nurture their abilities. A locked up student will not have the chance to familiarize themselves with all this.

In the article Emerson collection, by Ralph waldo, the letter by Lauren Powell job, she made it clear that there are great kids who are born for greatness. She continued that these kids are only great and good in quality, and these qualities can only be achieved only by supplementing and supporting these kids by giving them good policies and inspiration. Remember she did not say only policy. For a great kid, other than discipline they also have to feel like they belong. The sense of belong brings high esteem and growth in healthy both physically and mentally.

Subsequently, the most effective solution to preventing this is a different and preferred parenting style known as; Permissive Parenting. Parents that follow Permissive Parenting are known to be lenient, allow considerable self-regulation from their children, and avoid negative confrontations. They are of the belief that intensively and dramatically stressing academic success is neither good for the children’s grades nor for their psychological health. The Helicopter Parents point of view in this is that, Permissive Parenting parents are concerned about their children’s self-esteem as much as about their individuality; permitting them to pursue their own passions and create their own opinions about the world and through that loose them. The permissive parents also find importance in establishing a close parent-child relationship that allows these parents to relate to the child in a more of a friend rather than a ruler. This close relationship enables easy communication, which gives parents the opportunity to have a greater understanding of the reasoning behind the actions their children take. ( Peers, 56) It is proven that this style of parenting allows the children to grow up happier, innovative, and more capable of thinking creatively and independently. In addition, they have the ability to think outside the box, rather than be confined. It is the culture that produced Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs (Raise smart kids, 75).

In conclusion, Helicopter parents are a constant threat to the next generation and our future. The kind of children these parenting generations bring up today, in the near future where they will be responsible for the world; they will lead it to the pit. The danger continues to grow with the ever-growing number of Helicopter parents. They are a danger because they harm not just any child, but their own children in irrevocable. They teach them through a method that primarily produces an entirely opposite result to what they expected. The Helicopter parents desire obedience, complete control, and successful children; however, through their harmful ways of trying to force these things they receive opposite results instead. Rather than obedience, they get rebelliousness, and other than success, they get incompetent and dependent humans that are unable or find it difficult to think for themselves and make independent choices.

The ways of parenting is often not a conscious choice that usually parents make, but intuition and inbred from their parents hence inheritance. However, it is important for parents to realize that parenting is more about giving boundaries and rules to slightly guide a child into the right direction rather than forcing the child to submit entirely to the parents will and word. The presented and preferred solution is Permission parenting. While still being aware of their children’s choices and opinions, the permissive parents do not restrict nor forbid the independent growth of their children. Instead, they allow them to follow Kohlberg’s stages of moral development, and grow confident with themselves and their body image. This freedom results in strong-willed, independent people who are both emotionally and socially stable and capable of overcoming hardships in life.

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