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Helicopter parenting is a term that was created to describe parents that hover over their children and feel the need to watch their every move as they grow up. As a result, helicopter parenting affects kids so much so that when they grow up, they do so without having learned the proper problem solving skills to navigate their adult lives. Many of these children suffer from anxiety and depression or other emotional problems, and the effects of helicopter parenting can stay with kids well through their teen years, into their college years, and all the way into adulthood as well. It’s important for parents to be aware of these long term effects so they can stop this form of parenting on the front end.
It creates resentment toward the parents.
One of the ways that helicopter parenting affects kids is by creating resentment. When parents spend all of their time hovering over their children, children live with a constant feeling of suffocation and claustrophobia. Children of helicopter parents never have the chance to feel independent or explore on their own. They will blame their parents for this as they grow up and see their friends experiencing new and exciting things while they get held back. This, in turn, may cause anxiety and depression. More than anything, it’s going to cause strong resentment and anger for the parents who are putting these restrictions in place. As children grow up, the relationship between parent and child should strengthen, but with helicopter parents, this relationship may disintegrate.
It also creates fear and distrust in others.
Helicopter parenting affects kids in the outside world by creating a strong sense of fear and distrust in others as well. Without having time to gain experience with people and places in the world, it’s hard to be comfortable exploring it. Children of helicopter parents will develop the same fear that their parents have regarding safety. Every person or place that is unknown will immediately feel like something dangerous. This is an awful way to look at the world. While danger will always be out there, the good in the world will never be found without taking chances and letting go of fear.
Helicopter parenting can lead to a lack of social skills.
The effects of helicopter parenting are seen in children when they grow up and have a hard time developing proper social skills. Children of helicopter parents may not be able to regulate their emotions, and social skills become difficult as a result. Throughout their childhood, they became dependent on their parents in all social situations. In adulthood, when the parents are no longer there as a crutch, social situations become awkward. Children live in fear when they become adults because they have never learned to grow up. This is the parent’s fault for never letting go of the child enough for them to mature on their own.
It may create a sense of entitlement.
In some cases, helicopter parenting affects kids by creating a sense of entitlement. Children of helicopter parents can be extremely spoiled. Their parents are protective, but their parents give them everything they want and need in order to keep them close. The parent has no problem spoiling them if it means that the child will only ever need them as the one relationship in their life. Children need to learn to support themselves without their parents, live on their own two feet, and let go of their parents no matter how hard the parents may try to cling to them throughout their adult years.
These types of children may develop serious health problems.
Oftentimes, children of helicopter parents have more health problems than others, with many of these health issues being mental health or emotional problems. Anxiety is one of the most common issues in these instances, because these children have not learned to deal with the real world on their own. Other issues include depression, eating disorders, social disorders, and more.
Helicopter parenting kills confidence.
It is hard to have a strong sense of self and gain confidence when a child’s identity stems from their parents alone. If a kid's entire childhood has been micromanaged by their parents, there will have been no time for them to go out on their own and explore who they are. That takes space away from a hovering, watchful eye. It takes alone time. It takes learning things the hard way and making mistakes. When they don’t have a sense of their own identity, their confidence will be very low.
It may even cause depression in the children affected.
It’s pretty easy to see how low confidence, bad health, and fear of the world around them can all lead to depression. When all of the ways that parenting for good mental health in children fail, we see depression rates rise in these kids. It isn’t until later in life when these children become adults that all of these negative effects start to build up, and by then it’s too late. The damage has been done.
This unhealthy relationships fosters an inability to create healthy relationships.
It is very difficult for children of helicopter parents to create and keep positive relationships in their lives. When they are college students, and even further into their 20s and 30s, these adults are still feeling the affects from their hovering parents. They were suffocated for so long and they didn’t get the genuine nurturing they needed, and therefor they cannot bring it forward in any relationship they are trying to pursue. Their parents thought they were being helpful by hovering, but in the end, it’s only caused long term distress.
These children never develop problem solving skills.
Not only can helicopter parenting affect kids by messing with their relationships and emotions, but it can cause them to lack problem solving skills, which may result in them not being able to keep a steady career path or turning to a life of risky behavior just to get away from the pressure they feel. Without problem solving skills, it can be impossible to work in an office every day, manage paperwork or employees, and keep a schedule.
Children of helicopter parenting, a lot of times, become reliant on medication.
One of the last reasons why helicopter parenting is toxic is that it can become dangerous for these children to become reliant on medication. Whether it is mental health issues they are dealing with or other emotional issues, medication can sometimes feel like their only form of escape from their terrifying world around them. It is hard to cope in a world that you feel like you were never properly equipped or prepared for.
Helicopter parenting affects kids in many ways, all of which are largely detrimental to a child's development in the long run. These are issues that parents need to be aware of, so that they can learn new ways to parent and let go of the reigns a little more, in a healthier way. By doing so, hopefully, future generations of kids will be raised differently, and with more freedom to explore and find themselves so that they can grow into confident and capable adults.