Helicopter Parenting – So Tempting but So toxic.


In the last decade there have been waves of parenting styles – from attachment parenting to positive parenting. So many of them that by the time you understand how one works, apply it and see results, another one is invented!

There’s one parenting style that’s pretty fascinating – helicopter parenting. The word is self-explanatory but let’s look into it in a bit more depth. Helicopter parenting means parents hover over children and swoop in to rescue them at the first sign of trouble. Parents pay extremely close attention to a child’s experiences and problems particularly at school. It’s the polar opposite to neglect. It is “over-parenting“. Here is some context and history. Helicopter parenting took off in the 2000’s and it’s fair to say that milennials were the main “passengers”. With global disasters such as Sept. 11 and two economic crashes in 2000 and 2008, parents had greater cause for concern about their children’s futures, so they changed parenting styles.

A typical child raised by helicopter parents:

  1. Has to call mom or dad before making every single decision.

  2. Resents their parents for their gifts and support.

  3. Feels incredibly anxious all the time.

  4. Is a perfectionist who is obsessed with credentials.

    Calls her parents her best or only friends.

This style of parenting is surely well intended but is likely to have extreme outcomes – either (a) a perfect child (if that exists) or (b) a depressive, resentful, irresponsible adult. This is every MOCCA Mums’ worst nightmare. We want awesomeness – awesome girls of colour. Girls who cultivate friendships outside of those who are easily accessed and familiar. We love our girls but we want to cut the cord so they’re self reliant, independent and well balanced. Girls confident to make decisions but wise enough to know when to consult with us.
What happened to the days when children ran out to ride their bikes, play double dutch and hop scotch straight after school? What happened to the days when parents were reassured that that a happy child was enough? Sadly, society has become fiercely competitive and, at times, helicopter parenting is oh-so tempting but oh-so toxic.

MOCCA Mums, what’s your parenting style?

Photo credit – Dawn and vice.com