Do you like to hover around your child or teen all the time?
Are you constantly on the lookout, trying to prevent injuries and accidents before they happen? If you answered yes to these questions, then you just might be a helicopter parent.
If you’re still unsure if the term applies to you, here are six red flags to look out for:
- You Feel Responsible for Your Child’s School Work
Many parents are guilty of this. They’ll eagerly step in to do their child’s homework in order to prevent them from experiencing the struggle of pushing through a difficult problem.
This may save your child from frustration and from getting a lecture from their teacher, but are you really teaching them anything helpful?
You might be doing more damage than good by stepping in and doing the work for your child.
Instead of taking over for them academically, consider face-to-face tutoring for younger kids and online tutoring for high school students.
Tutors can help kids learn and feel less annoyed when tackling complex mathematical problems or when struggling to answer comprehension questions.
- You’re Overprotective
One phone call during the day when your child is at the mall with friends is fine, but you need to let go of your hold and loosen the apron strings eventually.
Being overprotective will only make you more stressed, and this filters into the relationship you have with your kids.
So, fight the urge to call constantly or track your child’s phone.
- You Won’t Let Your Child Experience Failure
If you’re always there to save the day, your child won’t learn to problem solve, and this is going to be a hindrance in adult life. Kids need to learn that it’s okay to make mistakes. The best thing you can do is gently guide them through recovering from failure and analyzing what went wrong so they can learn from every setback.
- You Want to Be Their Superhero
Helicopter parents can’t handle the sight of their child crying and are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
They are ready to swoop in and step up at any time for their child’s sake, but doing this too often can stunt the development of their coping skills.
If you want to help your child build a strong and resilient character, you cannot always fight their battles.
Always be available to them so they can rely on you when they’re sad, but encourage and allow them to fight their own battles.
- You Tag Along with Your Children
If you’re always looking for an opportunity to cart your children everywhere so you don’t lose sight of them, then you’ve got a major problem.
While kids must be protected, you need to learn where to draw the line if you want to raise young adults who can face the real world.
- You Coach the Coaches
Are you that mom or dad who screams at the coach on the soccer field? If so, you’re probably embarrassing your child and annoying the coach and instructor.
Remember, your job is to simply be a parent – you don’t need to be the tutor, coach, and swimming instructor as well.
You’re there to support your child and make memories with them.
Letting go can be hard, but that is why you have family, friends, soccer coaches, online tutors, swimming instructors, and teachers to help.
It takes a village to raise a child, and you should allow your support system to be there for you.
Most importantly, allow your child the chance to act independently without you. They’ll thank you for it.