By Shilpa Naraini:
“My parents hover over me like a helicopter…. Am I not that much mature to look after my needs and do what I want?” — We all must have heard these words from our friends, siblings or at times must have felt deep inside also. Helicopter Parenting is a situation where parents, out of excess love and care, create a boundary of possessiveness around their children which consequently decreases their self confidence and increase dependency over others. This term was originally coined by Foster W. Cline, M.D and Jim Fay in their 1990 book “Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility”.
We often heard parents saying that they want to provide their children the best among all material and non-material things, whatever things they were deprived of in their childhood. But this zeal of ‘providing best’ often turns them into helicopter parents, and they tend to overindulge themselves into their children’s lives. Instead of mowing down the obstacle, they unknowingly strengthen the difficulties of their children. No doubt, parents want their children to achieve a greater height, and that’s why they look after them. However, after a point this constant supervision no longer plays the role of love, support and care; and turns into annoying act in their perspective.
Parents are a kind of shield who protect their children, make them learn new things and strengthen their confidence to fight for their rights in the future, but what if this shield tends to create a four-wall situation around you? Would you still appreciate it, or would you struggle to come out of it to be able to breathe the fresh air? As parents they don’t want their child to commit the mistakes they did in their bygone days, but what they need to realise is that mistakes are the stepping stones to a successful life; that their children would actually gain something better with experience after committing a mistake.
It is right on parents’ part if they want their children to discuss everything with them but this should not be done forcefully, as things come out beautifully when they are left to the best judgement of the child. Restricting a child’s life with the pillars of over-ruling won’t do well for neither the child’s natural well-being or his/her career, and would, as a further result, make them fall into a pit of unsuccessful life decisions, which would ultimately extract the confidence out of them. Moreover, a child’s dependency on parents renders him/her weak at handling problems and decisions during the later years of life.
‘Helicopter parenting’ isn’t a bitter pill to swallow, but a little compromise from the parents’ side as well as from children’s side. There should be a balance between their relationships because a relationship is not of any worth at all, if it carries a great deal of pressure along with it.
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