I have long said that a self-sufficient child is a happy and well-adjusted child. And usually, I say this much to the chagrin of a helicopter parent who may be within earshot of my conversation -- but that's what they get for eavesdropping, anyway. However, it would seem that my anti-hovering argument is right on the money. Online college recently posted results of a study (with a might cool infographic, may I add) that shows how truly detrimental hovering over your kids can be in the long term. In fact, today's 20-somethings are miles behind the 20-somethings of the past, and it's all "thanks" to the helicopter parents of this generation.
How bad is helicopter parenting?
Today's young adults are more neurotic, more dependent and less open to new things than their peers a generation younger were. Helicopter parenting has succeeded in raising half-functioning, nearly incapable adults, and yet parents today still insist upon this parenting style. In fact, helicopter parents are so out of control with their bad habit that they are even getting involved in their adult child's workplace. (You can close your mouth now).
What I've Seen
Having twin 18-year-olds is eye opening -- and sometimes jaw dropping. What I see a lot of are two extremes: the helicopter parents who suffocate their offspring and the parent who just doesn't care what their kid does -- seriously, they could run over a family of baby raccoons and their parents would shrug it off. The trouble is, there are few parents left among the living (that I know of) that can agree to a middle ground.
I have seen parents hell bent on moving with their kids to an out of state college, stifling their growth and independence. I have seen parents tell their 18-year-old that she will join the military, no ifs ands or buts. And I have seen kids so brainwashed by overbearing, ultra controlling parents that they have absolutely no sense of self. That scares me. And, it should scare you too.
Only Wanting the Best
I'm no nosy Nelly, and I'm not going to tell you how to parent your own child, but there is one simple thing I have to point out to the helicopter parents our there: Your kids are supposed to make mistakes, scrape their knees, break up with boyfriends, grow up, move away and have a family all their own. And they are supposed to do this because you aren't going to be around forever.
So my question is for all of your helicopter parents out there in internet-land: Could your son or daughter make it if you weren't here to hover tomorrow? If the answer is, "no", it might be time to re-think your approach.
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