Media sources have used the term “helicopter parent” to describe a type of discipline where parents become overly involved in their child’s lives, especially when it comes to education. Although it may sound like a good idea for a parent to be involved in their child’s education, helicopter parents often take this to the extreme. There are some potential drawbacks when parents become overly involved.
The term “helicopter parent” was first coined in a 1969 book titled “Between Parent & Teenager.” The teen featured in the book reported his mother watched over him like a helicopter. Since then, many college administrators have used the term to refer to parents who continue to try and watch over their children from a distance after they have gone away to college.
College administrators say that helicopter parents do things such as call to wake their child for class each day. Other tell-tale signs of a helicopter parent are when they get involved in trying to ensure their child has a job after college. They may create their child’s resume, contact companies on behalf of their child and even try to negotiate with companies about salary and benefits.
How Helicopter Parenting May Help
Helicopter parents are certainly involved in their child’s lives which can be a good thing. Most helicopter parents likely have the best of intentions as well. And they do manage to get things done. You can count on the children of helicopter parents to have their paperwork filled out, scholarship applications complete, and homework done on time.
Helicopter parents of younger children and teenagers are likely to know where their kids are at all times, which is an important safety consideration. They are also likely to be very aware of who their child is with and how their child is doing in school.
Potential Problems with Helicopter Parenting
Many of the parents who are being called helicopter parents are baby-boomers. Not much research has been done yet to determine what the ramifications might be for children who have grown up with a helicopter parent because they are just reaching adulthood. There does seem to be several potential consequences and it appears there may be more effective ways to discipline older teenagers.