Helicopter Parents in Real Life: What Not to Do

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By Chris Egan

Helicopter parenting is an overprotective approach to parenting of which, both moms and dads are often guilty. It’s also one of the contributing environmental factors that some experts point to when discussing the mental health crisis affecting our kids today.

I believe that some parents don’t even realize they are crossing the line into overprotective parenting, and if it were pointed out to them along with the potential negative effects, they may change their behavior.

Nonetheless, otherwise sane parents do crazy things for the sake of their child’s well-being, safety, education, or even social advancement. If only they knew that in most cases these efforts will, in the long-term, have the opposite effect.

I think it could be helpful to review a few anecdotal cases of helicopter parenting so we can better identify it when we feel compelled to get overly involved in a situation our child is facing.

So straight from a post on Reddit, I want to share some of the “Worst Cases of Helicopter Parenting.”

For a more detailed examination of helicopter parenting and what it does to our kids, check out Episode 3 of my podcast, Ignorant Parenting.

Now, on to the anecdotes involving both helicopter moms and helicopter dads:

Had a mother call me to find out why her son didn’t get the job. He’s 40. And an attorney. Submitted by User: voice_of_craisin Submitted by User: voice_of_craisin
I knew a mother who kept her 5-year-old daughter in diapers when they went out of the house because she didn’t want her using public restrooms. Because the girl sitting in her own excrement was much better for her health, apparently.Submitted by User: murderousbudgie
I had a 16 year-old coworker whose mother sat in on the interview and tried to answer all the questions for him. He quit a couple of months later, or should I say, his mother called the store to quit for him.Submitted by user: theycallmemomo
The kids next door are not allowed to play outside unsupervised by an adult. We live in a quiet neighborhood and they are aged 10 and 8. Submitted by user: TheBigKahunaMonster
Some dad didn’t want to walk his kid to the bus stop so he bought a drone so that the drone could watch him walk to the bus stop. THATS REAL HELICOPTER PARENTING Submitted by user: forddasav
… Seriously I know a girl about to turn 30 who just complained that her mom won’t let her buy a new phone. She frequently fusses about things like her parents won’t let her read Harry Potter, etc. This is a person who lives on their own. Boggle. Submitted by user: dannylr
I went to a toddler pool that was zero entry and 1.5 feet at the deepest. This mom came in with her boy who was probably about 3, and got in the pool with him. He was wearing a wetsuit, goggles, a life vest AND floaties. The poor kid could barely even splash around enough to have any fun.Submitted by user: Goatmama1981
My best friend’s mother and father moved to the town where his college is located his freshman year.Submitted by yser: unique_nerd
If I dont call my father every sunday he will call me. If I dont answer he will text. Regardless if I reply back or not he will send another text asking a question from my childhood (where did we used to go fishing, elementary school I went to. ect.). He does that just incase in his words “Someone kills you and text with your phone”.Submitted by user: Hailmary1290
Tales from the classroom: 1. That time a parent argued with me when their child cheated because I didn’t specifically say that copying homework was cheating. 2. That time the parent clearly wrote the entire essay for her child. Parents, let your kids fail and learn. Submitted by user Bang0Skank0

If you’re the kind of person that likes to take a deep-dive into interesting topics, especially those having to do with parenting, check out my podcast, Ignorant Parenting. Episode 3 is all about helicopter parenting.

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Featured Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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