Preparing Children for the Future Without ‘Helicopter Parenting’ or Holding Them Back

Father helping son to ride bikeThe term “helicopter parent” originally appeared in a book by Dr. Haim Ginott, Between Parent and Teenager (Macmillan Co,1969). Although the term might be older than you perhaps thought, it has the same meaning today as it did then: a parent who is overprotective or too involved in the life of his or her child.

The website notes that helicopter parenting can have negative consequences for children, including decreased confidence, undeveloped coping and life skills, and increased anxiety. Therefore, it’s important for parents to avoid being overprotective of their children.

Here are a few ways to help prepare your child for the future without helicopter-parenting:

Assess the situation before stepping in. As a parent, your natural tendency is to help your child whenever he or she asks for assistance. However, the next time that your child asks, evaluate the request: Is this something crucial or serious where your child truly needs help? If not, let him or her attempt to solve the problem before doing it for your child.

Let your child fail. Although it can be hard to have your child be unsuccessful, it is important that he or she understands how to handle failure. Rather than stepping in before failure occurs, step in afterward and encourage your child to learn from the experience.

Gradually transition certain tasks to your child. As your child gets older, let him or her start to handle certain age-appropriate chores. You aren’t being a helicopter parent by doing the laundry for your 2-year-old child, but you could be if you do your 17-year-old’s laundry.

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Categories: Parenting Tips
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