The Truth About Helicopter Parents

Illustration by Spencer Jolibois.

If you ask any parent about ways to raise a child, most will likely have very strict answers. Some would include, to track their phone, to not let them get into cars with “irresponsible” teenage friends, to check their child’s phone weekly, and so on. What these parents don’t realize is that limiting their child to such an extent will not be as beneficial as expected.

Being an overly strict parent can decrease the chance their child has of becoming more responsible, due to the lack of trust they are given. Years of constantly holding their child down and forcing them to live how they want will also drive them to become more rebellious—the very exact thing helicopter parents are trying to avoid. This is the case for, Kathelyn Rodriguez, a senior at Barbara Goleman Senior High School.

“I’ll be getting ready to go to an event and my mom will cancel on me right before I leave because she suddenly disagrees with my behavior. Every time she does that, I miss an opportunity to become more educated in something I enjoy,” Rodriguez said.

She acknowledges that disagreements like this one are the reason as to why she and her mother don’t have the best relationship.

Although the actions of parents take a major toll on their child’s emotional and mental health, some parents remain convinced that they are doing the right thing. Dannais Hernandez, Rodriguez’s mother, said, “It’s not that I don’t trust her, it’s that I don’t trust the other people. You never know what can happen so I take measures in order to prevent bad situations. She’s young. She will understand later.”

According to WebMD, overly strict parents are “More likely to raise children who are disrespectful and engage in delinquent behaviors such as stealing, hurting others, and/or substance abuse.” Thus adding to the argument that controlling parents are more like to raise children with behavioral problems.

A way for helicopter parents to better their relationship with their child is by becoming an authoritative parent. An authoritative parent maintains a close relationship by conversing and relating to their kids, while also maintaining the role of a superior figure. These parents give their children responsibilities, trust, and much room to flourish.

A student with a less invasive, worrisome parent, tends to be more confident and independent. Maybe even more of an extrovert than the rest. Whereas, overprotective parents can butcher a child’s sense of independence and confidence and may prevent their children from reaching the success they strive for.

At then end of the day, parenting styles are chosen by the parents themselves, but it’s important to acknowledge the effects different styles can have on people throughout their lives. Sometimes parents have to put their worries aside and focus on what would be best for their children.

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