Invasive ‘helicopter parents’ hinder their child’s maturity


Overbearing parents invade in their child’s everyday lives.

By Peter Barbato, Feature Writer

Overbearing parents, often referred to as ‘helicopter parents’, attempt to create a positive environment for their children but don’t realize that they are setting their children up for failure later in life.

“It’s a very important thing for teenagers to learn things on their own,” explains counselor Leah Piekarz. “That’s very challenging when they have a parent that controls everything happening in their life.”

A helicopter parent is one that is constantly in their child’s business, everything from grades, extracurriculars, and social activities. They hover over everything that’s happening in their child’s life and try to control it, creating a sense of unneeded pressure to succeed on the child, and often breaking down the child’s self esteem.

With that being said, this style of parenting can be very destructive to kids, despite good intentions. It strips them of their independence and decision making, which becomes a bigger problem later on in life. When their parents are not around anymore to keep them in check, they have no clue what to do with their newly acquired independence.

“Unfortunately, in most cases it means the student has less ownership of things,” says Piekarz. “Whenever they have a problem, their parent can swoop in and solve it for them.”

These parents believe that they are protecting their kids from all of the negative influences that are out there in the world. However, what they don’t realize is that it often obstructs them from being exposed to some of the positive influences and experiences that they could find on their own.

“I miss out on having fun with my friends just because their parents aren’t home, or they only do ‘ok’ in school” explains a freshman boy with a helicopter parent. “A lot of the time, things that would be my decision end up being decided by my mom.”

According to a study conducted by psychologist Jesse Viner, 84% of over 100,000 college students with helicopter parents felt overwhelmed by responsibilities.

“My parents are always getting in my grill about my schoolwork,” says a junior girl. “It really annoys me because I’m on top of all my work, and I don’t need them there to tell me it’s time for homework. ”

Helicopter parenting shelters kids from the realities of the real world by not letting them learn from their mistakes. Anytime there could be potential for negative influences and exposure, instead of letting their child experience it on their own the parent takes control and steers clear of the pending danger.

Helicopter parenting can be detrimental to children, giving them a false sense of accomplishment and damaging their potential future. It shields kids from the real world, and all the problems they may potentially face in it, which ultimately becomes the greatest issue.

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Quiz: Do you have helicopter parents?

  1. How often do your parents check your phone?
  1. Never
  2. Once a year
  3. Once a month
  4. Every day
  1. How strict is your curfew?
  1. Home whenever I want
  2. Come home whenever, but wake your parents up
  3. Midnight
  4. Home at 10!
  1. How do you make social plans?
  1. Just show up to parties
  2. Text your friends
  3. Talk at school
  4. Parents set up plans with your friend’s mom
  1. Do your parents track your location?
  1. Never
  2. Sometimes
  3. Only in emergencies
  4. Every night


If you answered mostly 1, you have very relaxed parents, but if you answered mostly 3 and 4, you have some pretty involved parents. They can be categorized as helicopter parents.