Helicopter Parents: A Fine Line Between Hovering and Helping

I do not have human children (I have a fur baby) and I can only imagine the challenges and joys of parenthood. I think most parents have their child’s best interests at heart and try to do what they can to protect and help their children. It is a fine line though between helping and nurturing your child, and creeping in on their independence. In my mind the job of a parent is to raise children to become responsible, contributing members of society. It seems though that many young adults and teens are growing up with a sense of entitlement and a lack of accountability.

My supervisor and I recently chatted about the increase in young adults he has seen in his practice. While it’s great that a younger population is reaching out for help, he has noticed that most of the referrals have not come from the clients (who are over 18), but from their parents. How do parents let children take responsibility for themselves while loving and protecting them?

I have found many people are ‘fixers,’ meaning if someone has a problem, they are there to fix it. I think this can be especially true for parents. Sometimes the way to fix things is to simply step back and listen. I think a big part of parents over compensating for their children comes down to lack of confidence and self-doubt in parenting skills. Kids don’t come with a manual and there is no clear cut right or wrong way to parent. If parents had more faith in their own abilities and gave themselves more credit for the job they are doing, I think we would see more independent, well rounded kids.



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