Overprotective/Helicopter Parents

Here comes the ever hovering parent.
Here comes the ever hovering parent.
Overprotective/helicopter parenting or just plain overparenting is a phenomena occurring only recently in historyHowever, it is NOT new. Parents have been overprotecting their children from time immemorial.
Overprotective/helicopter parenting or just plain overparenting is a phenomena occurring only recently in historyHowever, it is NOT new. Parents have been overprotecting their children from time immemorial.
Overprotective/helicopter parents oftentimes take love, concern, & vigilance regarding their children to the multillionth degree. They take normal parental attributes TOO FAR.
Overprotective/helicopter parents oftentimes take love, concern, & vigilance regarding their children to the multillionth degree. They take normal parental attributes TOO FAR.
Overprotective/helicopter parents want to keep their children CLOSE to them.They monitor  every miinutiiae of their children's lives & activities. They feel that they are protecting their children from the unknown which can be dangerous & foreboding.
Overprotective/helicopter parents want to keep their children CLOSE to them.They monitor every miinutiiae of their children's lives & activities. They feel that they are protecting their children from the unknown which can be dangerous & foreboding.
Overprotective/helicopter parents swoop, doing things for their children that they can do for themselves. This includes solving their children, not teaching them accountability & prerequisite life skills.
Overprotective/helicopter parents swoop, doing things for their children that they can do for themselves. This includes solving their children, not teaching them accountability & prerequisite life skills.
Whileoverprotective/ helicopter parents believe that they are helping their children by monitoring & watching their every move, they are in fact, HARMING & RETARDING their children's development.
Whileoverprotective/ helicopter parents believe that they are helping their children by monitoring & watching their every move, they are in fact, HARMING & RETARDING their children's development.
Children of overprotective/helicopter parents are often developmentally behind children of similar ages. They act years younger than their actual age.Teachers&other children find such children to be too dependent &bereft of age related life skills.
Children of overprotective/helicopter parents are often developmentally behind children of similar ages. They act years younger than their actual age.Teachers&other children find such children to be too dependent &bereft of age related life skills.
Children of  such parents have poor social skills.This makes them the target of stronger children, particularly bullies.They are also fearful of the unknown & trying new things..They do not possess the necessary resilience found in children.
Children of such parents have poor social skills.This makes them the target of stronger children, particularly bullies.They are also fearful of the unknown & trying new things..They do not possess the necessary resilience found in children.
Overprotective/helicopter parenting is more prevalent in more affluent &/or small families.. Affluent parents of small families have more time and resources to carefully & closely supervise their children.
Overprotective/helicopter parenting is more prevalent in more affluent &/or small families.. Affluent parents of small families have more time and resources to carefully & closely supervise their children.
Since affluent parents are more likely to be highly educated, their parenting style is more involved and hands on.They are also less harsh in their childrearing methodology.
Since affluent parents are more likely to be highly educated, their parenting style is more involved and hands on.They are also less harsh in their childrearing methodology.
Many overprotective/helicopter parents came from homes where parents were either uninvolved or underinvolved in their lives.They want to be better parents so they overcompensate for their own lack of parenting.
Many overprotective/helicopter parents came from homes where parents were either uninvolved or underinvolved in their lives.They want to be better parents so they overcompensate for their own lack of parenting.
There are many opponents to the overprotective/helicopter parenting methodology. One of them is Lenore Skenazy who asserts that this type of parenting methodology hampers children, making them fearful & dependent.
There are many opponents to the overprotective/helicopter parenting methodology. One of them is Lenore Skenazy who asserts that this type of parenting methodology hampers children, making them fearful & dependent.
Many overprotective/helicopter parents elect to ignore wise advice as to how their parenting methodology is emotionally & psychologically crippling & retarding their children.
Many overprotective/helicopter parents elect to ignore wise advice as to how their parenting methodology is emotionally & psychologically crippling & retarding their children.
Overprotective/helicopter parents believe in being everpresent in their children's lives e.g. supervised playdates &/other activities. They are invasive in their children's lives throughout childhood, adolescence, & even adulthood.
Overprotective/helicopter parents believe in being everpresent in their children's lives e.g. supervised playdates &/other activities. They are invasive in their children's lives throughout childhood, adolescence, & even adulthood.
It is NOTHING for the overprotective/helicopter to continue to monitor&be intrusive in their adolescent&young adult children's lives.Such parents routinely treat their near adult children as if they were young children instead of independent adults.
It is NOTHING for the overprotective/helicopter to continue to monitor&be intrusive in their adolescent&young adult children's lives.Such parents routinely treat their near adult children as if they were young children instead of independent adults.
Many bosses find adult children of overprotective/helicopter parents to be totally bereft of essential life & job skills.They find such people to be poor decision makers & self-starters who need constant reassurance & supervision.
Many bosses find adult children of overprotective/helicopter parents to be totally bereft of essential life & job skills.They find such people to be poor decision makers & self-starters who need constant reassurance & supervision.
Many young adults of overprotective/helicopter parent grow to hate them because they fail to teach them important life & survival skills. Many of these young adults are have low to abysmal life & survival skills.
Many young adults of overprotective/helicopter parent grow to hate them because they fail to teach them important life & survival skills. Many of these young adults are have low to abysmal life & survival skills.
Many adult children of overprotective/helicopter parents often decide to disassociate themselves from their parents in order to lead a fully independent & more successful life.
Many adult children of overprotective/helicopter parents often decide to disassociate themselves from their parents in order to lead a fully independent & more successful life.

The Syndrome of Overparenting

There is a parenting phenomena recent in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. It is called by many names, overparenting and/or helicopter parenting. However, this parenting phenomena is not new. There were parents who sheltered and overly supervised their children from time immemorial. However, in the olden days, it was called being overprotective.

Yes, it is a parent's duty to love and be vigilant regarding their children's outcomes and safety. However, the overprotective/helicopter parents takes parental vigilance to the ultimate extreme. These types of parents believe that their child should have an as perfect childhood as possible. The overprotective/helicopter parents protect their children from the slightest mishap as they believe that exposing their children to such would "irreparably damage" them.

Such parents believe in keeping their children extremely close to them. These are the types of parents who discourage their children from freely exploring their environment because they believe that the world itself is a very unsafe and dangerous place. They indoctrinate their children with such ideas. These parents are afraid for their children thus prohibiting them from playing and enjoying their childhoods because they do not want their children to be "hurt."

These are the parents who believe that their children should go nowhere unsupervised even when it is age appropriate. Many preschool and elementary school teachers are inundated with such parents who maintained that their children is entitled to special treatment and entitlement. These are the types of parents who critique a teacher if their children receive less than a good grade and/or receive appropriate discipline in class.

Even though overprotective/helicopter parents maintain that they love their children and wish the best for them, they are doing a severe disservice to their children. Children of overprotective/helicopter parents did not develop proper age appropriate social skills. They are extremely immature and infantilized for their respective ages. Many elementary school teachers report that children of such parents did not have the rudimentary age appropriate skills e.g. being able to tie their own shoes and doing minor independent tasks.

These children are also overly dependent and have low self-confidence which makes them the target of bullies. These children do not have the self awareness and toughness that children raised in nonprotective homes have. Children of overprotective/helicopter parents are not resilient and are risk aversive. They are afraid to make mistakes and crumble if there is adversity in their lives.

You ask how did the phenomena of overparenting become so prevalent in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries? Well, Americans became more affluent and families became smaller. Studies confirm that the phenomena of the overprotective/helicopter parents is extremely prevalent in middle, upper middle, and upper class homes than there are in lower middle and working class homes. Affluent parents believe that their children should have as unencumbered childhood as possible and they have the means to provide their children with such a childhood. In small families, parents are often more overprotective because they have more emotional and physical resources as opposed to large families where parents have less emotional and physical resources to devote to each child.

Many overprotective/helicopter parents have hardscrabble childhoods and they want to provide their children with better childhoods than they had. It is the mantra of such parents, especially if they came from less affluent homes, that no child should have it tough and that childhood should be carefree. Many overprotective/helicopter parents do not believe in assigning their children chores and responsibilities because it would "rob" their children of their childhoods. As a result of this, these children have deficit life and survival skills which would help them later on in life.

Many psychologists, social scientists, and sociologists decry the plight of the overprotected child in preschool and elementary schools. One psychologist,Hara Estroff Marano, indicated that overprotective parents are raising children who have no life skills, are overly dependent, afraid to navigate through life, and to take risks. Dr. Estroff Marano further maintained that overprotective parents are doing more harm than good to their children.

Lenore Skenazy, a free range mother and author, took highly adverse criticism for allowing her nine year old son to ride the subway alone. Ms. Skenazy maintained that her son was old enough to ride the subway alone, adding that parents today are far too overprotective of their children as to stunt their psychological and emotional growth. It is Ms. Skenazy's belief that children are to freely explore their environment, take risks, and to perform age appropriate tasks on their own as to become gradually independent.

However, this sage advise is ofentimes ignored by many overprotective/helicopter parents. It is these parents' assertion that they are here to protect and solve their childrens' problems. They believe that children are "helpless" beings who should be guided and sheltered from life's woes. These are the parents who arrange supervised playdates and activities for their children as they are afraid to permit their children to play unsupervised.

In high school and college, children of overprotective parents are considered overgrown children who are totally unable to make decisions on their own. Many college administrators and professors are nonplussed at the influx of overprotective/helicopter parents at their institutions. There are even parents who board with their college students to ascertain that everything is alright. Some parents even go further and select courses for their children and continuously text them.

Overprotective/helicopter parents are even more invasive of their children in young adulthood. There are parents who go with their adult children to job interviews much to the chagrin of interviewers who deem such prospective employees with disdain. Many a supervisor and superior decry the lack of maturity and work ethic of such adult children. These supervisors and superiors assert that these adult children believe that the world revolve around them, that life should run smooth and easy, and they become emotionally unglued if things do not go their way.

Overprotective/helicopter parents are considered to be just as abusive as the most negligent parents. Overprotective/helicopter parents do not actually respect their children and hold them in high regard. In fact, these parents consider their children to be inept, incapable, and incompetent which does nothing for their self-confidence.

Overprotective/helicopter parents view their children as "children" no matter what age they age. Furthermore, they infantilize their children as they are afraid to let go of their children. Children of such parents actually grow to hate their parents because they have crippled them socially, emotionally, and psychologically. Oftentimes, adult children of overprotective/helicopter parents have severed all ties with them in order to lead a more independent life.

In conclusion, the phenomena of overprotective/helicopter parenting is quite prevalent in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. This phenomena is rife among the middle, upper middle, and upper class. Such parents believe that childhood should be as stress free and unencumbered as possible. Furthermore, smaller families also cause parents to be more overprotective as they have more emotional and physical resources to devote to each child.

However, there are negative repercussions of overparenting. Children of such parents are retarded emotionally and psychologically as they do not have life skills gained from exploring, failing and taking risks. They often have low self-confidence and are risk aversive. They are often overly dependent and do not have the necessary independence to succeed in life.

Children of overprotective/helicopter parents fare extremely poorly in life. Bosses find them to be lacking in initiative and aggressiveness. These children are often entitled and believe that the world should be smooth and revolve around them. In addition to that, they crumble when adversity strikes. Furthermore, they have little or no problem solving skills.

Subconsciously, overprotective/helicopter parents believe that their children are inept and incompetent and treat them as such. Such parents do not view their children as individuals but as babies to make decisions for. Children of these parents feel totally inept and infantilized which cripples them for life. They, in turn, hate their parents for subjecting them to an infantilized environment and some, as they become adults, eventually sever all ties with them in order to lead more complete lives.

© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams

More by this Author


Comments 6 comments

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

I think in this day and age there is no such thing as an overly Protective Parent...That is sad to say...But we now live in times that taking children is out of control and the internet is an aid to deprived individuals. While I think this is a well written Hub Gmwilliams and yes children need space and time to explore...But again it's a double edge sword.


Paul 5 years ago

I get everyside effect from having over protective parents and its turned me into an emotional wreck and i wonder why i got diagnosed with Aspergers i never got to learn from any of my mistakes and im always parinoid if i be myself i wont be accepted :/ thank you for posting this it was extremely helpful


lorenmurcia profile image

lorenmurcia 5 years ago

These overprotective parents are a pain in the neck. What peeves me is the way they raise their children. And when these children start coming to school, they are mostly one of our problems. You know, if a particular child/student gives me headaches in my class, I don't get angry with him/her. I silently blame the parents.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Having worked in corporate HR, our college recruiting efforts were constantly met with parents who attempted to attend job interviews with their child, negotiate job offers on behalf of them, attend employee orientation with them, and once on the job lobby for better pay, a day off, a better performance rating, or they tried to offer excuses for why junior misbehaved on the job. It was very tiring indeed but also kinda comical and sad at the same time.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

It is SAD indeed. While I was an investigator, another investigator told me of a case of a 49 year old man being interviewed because he filed a discrimination complaint with our agency. During the conference with the employer, this investigator informed me that MOTHER of the 49 year old discussed his case. Parental support is well and good but there is a time when an adult should be an ADULT. Again, spot on response as usual, THANK YOU again for stopping by!


Guest 2 years ago

And then there's these types of parents arranging dates and/or marriages for their daughters to men they think are much more suitable than their daughter's choice. It's common. These women cannot choose who they can date and/or marry like their brothers can.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working