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Signs Of A Helicopter Parent

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This new concept began emerging in families a few years ago to describe the over-involvement some parents assume in the child raising process. It is the act of hovering over the child to make sure every little detail is accounted for. This includes homework, Sports, Girl Scout / Boy Scout activities, practicing music or dance lessons, class selections in high school, completing college applications and many other activities intended to be for or about the child. 


As much as parents want the best experiences for their children, this over-involvement is a negative message that conveys a meaning of inadequacy and incompetence. The child knows that other parents are not as extreme and their friends are doing just fine. This constant push to be the best and the inferred belief that perfection is the only acceptable outcome is detrimental to the parent/child relationship. It breeds resentment, avoidance and can develop into lying and deception. At its worse reaction it can morph into drug abuse and suicide. 

Assisting your child to be the best they can be is a wonderful goal, Teaching them how to set goals, establish priorities, manage time, make good choices, balance actions with anticipated consequences, delay impulsive wants are all positive learning values. Included with the learning process must be the experiences of failing, frustration and natural consequences. If you, as the parent, are always cushioning the child's experiences, they cannot learn how to reach their potential. 


You brought them into the world to become all that they can be -- not all that you want them to be. Setting high standards, applying reasonable expectations and maintaining firm boundaries are signs of good parenting. The key is understanding who your children are and not forcing them to be someone they are not. You will learn from them as much as they will learn from you.