Helicopter Parents Get Last Laugh — It’s Good to Hover!

Mar 3, 2009 9:59am

What comes to mind when you hear the term helicopter parent?  Not good, right?  Annoying, hovering, meddling, over bearing parents who just cannot let their children fail, fall, cry, and generally cope on their own.  And we’re talking about all ages, from toddlers to teens. 

Helicopter parents have been generally demonized in the media.  If you hover over your children’s every moves you stunt their ability to grow and deal on their own.  Kids need to fall and then dust themselves off sometimes.

Now comes a piece in the Boston Globe this morning which points to a very interesting trend.  Some family researchers are now making the case that helicopter parenting might not be so bad after all. Excessive parent involvement might be especially useful for some adolescents.  And given these rough economic times a little helicoptering can go a long way for young adults trying to keep their head above water.  Here is an excerpt from Globe’s piece:

"Some researchers have begun to argue that late adolescence and young adulthood are such minefields today – emotional, social, sexual, logistical, psychological – that there are valid reasons for parents to remain deeply involved in their children’s lives even after the kids are, technically speaking, adults.  Moreover, they say, with the economy in a deep swoon, helicopter parents may have a vital role to play as career counselors or even as providers of financial aid to their offspring."

One researcher tries to make a distinction between over parenting and helicopter parenting.  Over parenting being negative, helicopter parenting being super supportive at a time when your kid needs the attention.

Thoughts?

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