Helicopter parents are those moms or dads who take excessive interest in the lives of their children and an overprotective take on their safety.
It basically describes a parent who has a tendency to hover over their child… well, like a helicopter at any given moment. Whether it’s to do with school work or experiences, the helicopter parents are the parents who are always there, and sometimes are there a little too much. That’s not to say that a helicopter parent is a bad parent, but there are a few effects that this helicopter parenting style can affect the child as they grow up, even if it’s not intentional.
Since a lot of families don’t tend to realise that they have a potential helicopter in their midst, here are a few ways that you can figure out if your parent was a bit of a helicopter, or if you are one yourself.
1. They have been to every sporting event, school activity, and terrible play.
This is a classic. Helicopter parents never want to miss a single thing their little angel is doing, and it makes for some pretty embarrassing pictures for when you’re older. Remember that time you were the best star in the entire nativity?
2. You learned to lie early on because you couldn’t do anything if you didn’t.
It’s not that you meant to deceive or hurt them, it was just the only way you could do things with friends.
3. You then felt a tremendous sense of guilt for lying.
You know deep down that your parents only act this way because they love you. Lying to them just feels wrong.
4. Your parents helped you move into your college dorm… then wouldn’t leave. They probably cried, too.
Moving to college is a hard time for any parent, but most of all the helicopter parents. It probably took a few weeks to pack up your stuff, then a few hours to get them to leave so you can get to know your roommate. At least you’ve got your dad’s bawling to break the ice.
5. You’re expected to be home for every holiday, birthday, and some Tuesdays.
Just because you’re at college doesn’t mean you’re free. Every Christmas, Easter and birthday you’re expected home for family meals and chances to catch up. Don’t forget about Tuesdays either, it’s family game night.
6. They get insulted when you refer to another place as “home”, even if it technically is your home.
Your mom has worked very hard to make the house a home, hearing you call somewhere else home feels like a betrayal.
7. Dinner with mom and dad may as well be the Spanish Inquisition, do you remember everything you did this week?
It can be difficult to remember what you had for breakfast every day this week, was it eggs on Monday, or was that Wednesday?
8. You secretly like having people that are expressly interested in the small details of your life.
Although breakfast conversation can be a little tedious, it’s always heart-warming to know that you have your own little personal fan club to come back to when having to adult get a bit tough.
9. If you don’t contact home for a small period of time, your parents are immediately issuing an amber warning.
You’re in such regular contact with your family that if you miss a phone date with your mom, you immediately have five missed phone calls, seventeen text messages and three FaceTime requests within the space of two minutes. It’s spectacular how fast worried helicopter parents can type.
10. It shocks you that some friends only speak to their parents once a week. Are you jealous or do you pity them?
Your friends seem to only talk to their parents on occasion, whereas you speak to yours almost constantly. It may be nice to have a little bit of space sometimes, but would you really want to give up the relationship you have with your parents?
Parents play a huge role in our development, and the relationships we have with them can shape us as adults. Although there are definite downsides to having helicopter parents, the benefits are insurmountable. The amount of love and support you receive from a helicopter parent is incredible, and they’re excited about everything you do. This can really help you later in life to build stronger and more successful relationships with friends and others around you, as well as a sense of community around you because you know how to put a lot of effort into a relationship.
You can’t choose your family, and helicopter parents may be a nuisance growing up, but their love for you is irreplaceable. So, don’t take it for granted, you only have one set of parents, after all.
By Francesca F.