This Generation of Overbearing Parents
Parents of the 21st century seem to hardly let their kids out of their sight. Kids are becoming more and more dependent on others which leads many young kids to grow up with a lack of independence. Parents who control or try to mold their kids into who they want to be are referred to as helicopter parents, parents who are so overly involved in their child’s life, making their child unable to become who they want. Parents should learn take a step back and come to terms that less involvement might actually be more.
Everyone has come across parents who demand straight A’s, make their son/daughter stay in an activity they don’t enjoy at all or push their kid so hard to do or be something they aren’t. While wanting your kid to do well and succeed is a good thing, parents need to realize how much stress teenagers are under and how teenagers should be figuring things out themselves without a parent always looming over their shoulder.
Parents are helicopter parents (or enmeshed parents) if they are constantly hovering over their child and trying to make their child fit into their mold of how they want them to be .This becomes more of an issue when parents keep their children in activities for selfish reasons when they clearly don’t enjoy what they’re doing, “The parent who expects her daughter to take dance classes and become the ballerina she never became begins to live vicariously through her daughter’s dance practices and recitals is also an enmeshed parent” (Parents Who Try to Keep Their Children Dependent, para 6). A parent making their kid do something for their own sake isn’t right. When kids are young they are just figuring out their passions and interests. Parents should be nurturing their kids interests and passions and not their own.
By helicopter parenting when kids are younger and helping their kid with everything without hesitation parents can render the development of being independent and solving problems on their own. When kids aren’t taught independence early on they don’t know how to solve problems which ultimately ends up with a parent interfering, “Say your kid has a problem with a roommate. Maybe one “borrowed” his favorite t-shirt. Maybe your daughter’s roommate leaves old, stinky Chinese take out in the mini-fridge. Perhaps your child is so upset about this he texts you five times a day to complain.Here’s the thing: Don’t call the college president to ask him to handle the situation. (Yes, that happens.) (How helicopter parents are ruining college students, paras 1–2)”. Every teenager has friends who can’t go anywhere without their parents or are in constant need of their parents. While the parents bred these feelings at a young age the tendencies continue into near adulthood. Kids who know their parents will bend over backwards to do what they need will end up unable to solve problems themselves and heavily dependent on their parent to do things for them when they are older.
While parents coming in at a whim renders the development of independence it also stops the child from being able to make mistakes. Mistakes are super important for children to make at a young age, “To rush in too quickly, to shield them, to deprive them of those challenges is to deprive them of the tools they will need to handle the inevitable, difficult, challenging and sometimes devastating demands of life (Raising Successful Children, para 13). When parents don’t allow kids to make mistakes they get distressed when they come to a difficult situation where they don’t know what to do. This happens because their parents always rushed in so that the child would effortlessly make the “right” decision.
While it is completely normal for a parent to want to help their child as much as they can and want them to be the best they can be there is a difference between being supportive and overstepping. Many parents aren’t aware that what they are doing can affect their child long term and cause dependence to their parents and anxiety when needing to do something on their own or being exposed to something that they have always been shaded from. Helicopter parenting might seem like a good way to make sure your kid is happy and successful but really it just makes the child feel like they can’t do things themselves in the long run and begins harvesting insecurities of their own abilities.
Instead of trying to mold kids as the “perfect child” parents should give their children leeway to figure things out for themselves and support them on their quest to finding out who they want to be. Parents should avoid helicopter parenting and step back and support their child as who they want to become.
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Levine, Madeline. “Raising Successful Children.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 Aug. 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.
“Parents Who Try to Keep Their Children Dependent.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 18 Jan. 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.
Wcpa. “Dealing with Helicopter Parents: Register Now — West County Psychological
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“Overprotective Parents, Underdeveloped Children”: Part 1 — Legacy Dad.” Legacy Dad. 16 Oct. 2015. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.