A helicopter parent is also referred to as a cosseting, hovering, or overprotecting parent.
These are the kind of parents who pay extremely close attention to the children’s educational matters, experiences, and problems.
This terminology was used on parents who ‘hover overhead’ their children constantly overseeing everything they do.
It simply means being involved in your children’s lives in a way that is overcontrolling, overprotecting, and over perfecting, excess of responsible parenting.
What are the reasons for Helicopter/Cosseter Parenting
General anxiety such as lack of job security and the economy can exert pressure on parents to take more control over their children’s life.
The fear and worry can push parents to take control of their children’s lives in the belief that they can keep their children from being disappointed or hurt.
Overcompensation by adults who grew up feeling unloved ignored or neglected as children can lead them to compensate with their children by excessive attention and monitoring over their children’s activities.
This is in an attempt to remedy the deficiency the parents felt in their upbringing.
Pressure from the environment
When there is peer pressure from other parents to be over-involved in parenting, one is compelled to do the same.
At times we may feel that if we do not immerse ourselves in our children’s lives we are bad parents and guilt is a large component in this feeling.
What are the effects of Helicopter/Cosseter Parenting
The intentions of helicopter parenting are good, however, it has its negative effects as illustrated below:-
Decreased confidence and self-esteem
Over-involvement of parents in a child’s life may send a message of self-doubt in a child’s life whenever such children want to step up and do something on their own.
The over-involvement of a parent in a child’s life deters the development of some of the child’s coping skills.
As a result, the child never learns on their own how to cope with disappointment, failure, or loss.
Depression and anxiety in early childhood does relate to this helicopter parenting style.
Undeveloped life skills
Parents who involve themselves in their children’s lives do not expose them to develop and master life skills on their own.
How can you avoid being a Helicopter/Cosseter parent
The practical way of getting out of the helicopter parenting style is by simply letting your children struggle, allowing them to get disappointed, face failure and as a result, help them work through failure.
It means allowing children to do the tasks that they are physical and mentally capable of doing.