Keep your helicopter on the landing pad

Published in For the Health of It Author: Lorrie Spanier, BS, LADC

Coordinator of Adolescent Services
CentraCare/Recovery Plus Adolescent/Clara’s House

Are you worried that you are a helicopter parent? See if the three most common patterns seen in helicopter parents describe you.

  1. When we do for our kids what they can already do for themselves.
  2. When we do for our kids what they can almost do for themselves.
  3. When our parenting behavior is motivated by our own egos. In other words, there is something lacking in our own experiences that we are projecting on our children.

Signs of helicopter parenting:

  • Inability to let go
  • Spoiling
  • Lobbying
  • Guarding
  • Germaphobia
  • Watchdogging
  • Over-scheduling
  • Too much praise

Long-term effects of helicopter parenting:

  • Increased depression, anxiety, self-consciousness, entitlement and distress in new situations.
  • Decreased problem-solving and decision-making skills.

A recent study of job recruiters showed that seven out of 10 recruits needed to speak to their parents before accepting a job offer. Twenty-five percent of companies had been contacted by parents who feel like their offspring should receive jobs.

How to correct helicopter parenting:

You need to create healthy boundaries. Allow your child to make mistakes, solve problems and face the consequences.

  • Be an active listener. Ask “What are you feeling?” and “What are you thinking?”
  • Have consistent consequences.
  • Set reasonable expectations.