Am I A Helicopter Parent?!

Posted on: November 21, 2014

Up until last week I had never heard the phrase helicopter parent before.  Actually, that’s not strictly true. I hadn’t taken the time to really think about the term until then. Watching daytime television (if I ever have a moment to, and more often than not it’s a better idea not to) it always seems that I am bombarded with parenting advice and explanations of different parenting techniques (some extreme, some not so much). When in between doing some other odd jobs around the house I passed the TV for a moment and  heard someone say ‘helicopter parent’. It sounded like quite a lively debate so I stopped and sat myself down to hear some more for a moment.

Just in case you are unfamiliar, helicopter parents are basically mums and dads who find it very hard not to get involved with every single aspect of their child’s life. You could describe them as ‘hovering’ around their little ones (hence where the name comes from) finding it hard to take a back seat. That’s putting it quite politely I think. In other words (which the woman in opposition on the TV used) they are controlling, overbearing and overprotective.


A few helicopter parent symptoms to look out for –

  • You spoil them
  • It pains you to drop them off at school
  • You think your child is perfect in every way and take every opportunity to tell people that
  • You’re like their security guard
  • You help a bit too much with their homework (i.e do it for them so they get top marks)
  • You are the germ police
  • You try to hand pick their friends
  • You often feel guilty and give into their every desire to shelter them from negative experiences
  • You’re over prepared and plan to every last detail


It’s fair to say that most of us will have been guilty of some of the things on this list from time to time. But I know that I am not a helicopter parent. Doing a lot of the things on this list will stop your child from learning valuable lessons.  Failure and challenges are important and teach kids  new skills and also that they can indeed handle failure and challenges. They need a certain amount of independence to develop and grow in the ways they need to. I’m a pretty big believer in letting kids get on with what they want to do (within reason of course) whether that’s playing outdoors, drawing and colouring, dressing up and being creative and making choices for themselves. This builds up their confidence and is, as they say, all part of being a kid.

Anyway, that’s my little lesson learnt to keep avoiding daytime TV! I stayed watching long enough to hear that apparently helicopter parents have now been replaced by snowplough parents! We’ll save that for another post…


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November 2014

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