Examples of this might be constantly controlling the play of your 3-year-old and seldom giving your children the opportunity to be creative on his or her own; choosing your school-age child’s friends, teachers, coaches and activities; or constantly picking up after your teenagers, checking their grades and trying to fix their failures.
Children need plenty of guidance, love and acceptance from their parents to build their self-esteem. However, there is a fine line when it comes to becoming too involved or too controlling in your children’s lives. And, while helicopter parents may have the best intentions at first, the reality is that their behaviors could negatively impact their children’s future success in life.
It’s only natural for parents to want to help their children. However, parents need to remember that their most important job is to teach their children to become responsible, independent, thriving young adults who are capable of making good decisions on their own.
A helicopter parent’s actions can lead children to believe that they aren’t capable of making decisions without their parent’s input. It can also prevent children from learning the coping skills they need to deal with life’s disappointments and add to children’s anxiety levels. This can, in turn, prevent them from learning important life skills and create a sense of entitlement.
If you find yourself hovering, you need to remind yourself of these potential negative long-term effects. Then step back and let your children learn from their successes and failures.