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Helicopter Parents: 30 Ways They Ruin Their Children’s Lives

helicopter parents

Helicopter parents are ones that cling way too tightly, to the point of suffocation. Excuse the rest of us who want to raise independent adults!

I was out with one of my friends recently, and she talked about some other woman and referred to her as one of those helicopter parents. Of course, being the stellar and totally on top of my kid parent that I am, I looked at her bewildered. I couldn’t imagine what a helicopter mom was until she defined it for me, and it was spot on.

Helicopter parents hover over their child, watching their every move, snooping on their most intimate conversations, and in everyone’s business, which includes every other kid who is in their kid’s life.

I don’t know if helicopter parents end up with better-behaved children, but what I will tell you, is that as a mom, they are no fun to deal with. They treat their children as if they are nothing but an extension of themselves and never give their kids allowance to make a mistake.

30 signs you deal with helicopter parents

Catching kids before they fall might be great if you talk about diving over the Grand Canyon lookout. But, if kids never fail or fall on their ass, they never learn boundaries, self-control, or how to gauge their own behavior.

Helicopter parents don’t do their kids any favors. Unless they intend to follow their children around for life, they set their kids up to be entitled, oversensitive, and co-dependent. [Read: Being raised by narcissists – 18 harmful ways it affects your life]

So, if you are a helicopter parent who feels like you are on moral high-ground because you are so on top of your kids they can’t ever climb out of your controlling hole, guess what? Someday my kids, who aren’t being helicoptered, will be more well-adjusted, stable, and know how to handle their own shit without calling mommy.

It isn’t that I don’t care, it is just that I care enough to allow them to learn lessons while watching on the sidelines to help before they drown, not making sure they never learn to swim.

#1 They do their child’s homework. Homework is designed to give your children extra practice on their OWN. Helicopter parents don’t think that their kids should ever fly solo! [Read: 11 ways to know if you are ready to be a parent]

#2 They have all sorts of spying apps and read through their kids’ messages. I know my friends tell me I should watch my kids’ social media accounts, but the thing is, I trust them and talk to them about what is right and what isn’t, as well as what is dangerous. At some point, you need to have some faith that you raised your kids well enough to “get it.” [Read: Social media: The good, the bad, the ugly]

#3 Their kids aren’t ever at fault. I blame my children first, ask questions later!

#4 No one better dare reprimand their child. Go ahead and yell at my children. In fact, I encourage it. If they aren’t super fearful of me… it takes a village, right?

#5 They have no life of their own. Helicopter parents don’t go out, have friends, or really any lives of their own. They live vicariously through their children. Sounds fun, huh?

#6 Their job is pure promotion. They literally don’t have enough good things to say about their kids. I am not sure if they try to convince everyone around them that their kid is great or themselves. Either way, I let my kid’s behavior speak for itself.

#7 Everything they never achieved they make sure their kids do. All those failed dreams aren’t going to die with the helicopter parents, their kids are their second chance at greatness. [Read: Child of a narcissist – 16 lasting effects you just can’t ignore]

#8 Highly emotional if their kids get hurt, they fight their battles for them. In our home, you don’t come to me unless you are bleeding or bones are sticking through the skin. You learn to fight your own battles because I am not always going to be around to do so.

#9 They take everything way too seriously. So, your kid says “shit” for the first time, get over it!

#10 Everything is bullying, everything. If someone says they don’t like their child’s shoes, it involves a call to the school to put a stop to the bullying. [Read: 15 calm and firm ways to be the real alpha]

#11 They look down at any parent who isn’t “involved” enough. A helicopter parent thinks they care more because they smother more. Not the case… sorry.

#12 They give their child no privacy and cross the line way too often. They have no problem reading intimate conversations that weren’t meant for them while their children have no clue. In my book, if you want to find out what is going on with your child, how about you just ask them and trust they are honest people?

#13 Their children don’t have a clue how to wipe their own ass. Helicopter parents make breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every snack in between. How on earth will any adult raised by them do for themselves?

#14 Their children can’t ever do anything right. If it isn’t perfect, try, try, try, try again. And then… it still won’t be perfect ENOUGH.

#15 They are the ones in the front row every time, looking down their nose at the back row. Yep, a helicopter parent isn’t just there an hour before performance time, they already emailed the teacher to find out which side they need to sit on to get the best video shot.

#16 Their kids are so overscheduled they only have time to sleep. Got to keep them busy!

#17 They have no life of their own. It’s like a demonic possession. Living just for your child, helicopter parents can’t possibly get involved in anything not school related, who has the time?

#18 They approve of your home before their child comes over. You get a call from the helicopter parent with 20 questions before they step in your door. Similar to an interview, they typically stay around for the first play date to ensure that it is “safe.”

#19 You had better watch what you say to and around their child. No swearing allowed, or you are a bully too!

#20 Their family is perfect, period. We all know their family isn’t perfect, but they continue to insist it is… Truth? Who the hell cares! [Read: Why most people don’t like you]

#21 Their child can’t make a decision without consultation. Their children can’t decide if they want to wear orange or green without checking with the P’s first.

#22 Their children are their best friends. They have no need for friends, their children are their besties, and all they need.

#23 They care way too much about name brands and credentials. Children are their greatest reflection, so name brands all the way. God forbid they wear a cartoon character. How childish!

#24 They have a GPS on their kids at all times. Literally, they usually have a GPS attached to some part of their child’s body.

#25 Their child can’t get their license until ready to leave home. No freedom here. With freedom comes responsibility and the ability to get into trouble. Ain’t happening! [Read: Interfering parents and all the ways they can affect their grownup kids’ lives]

#26 Buses are so not acceptable. You are always the first in car line. Buses? That is for second class citizens, not MY kid.

#27 They always let their kids win when playing games. Their kid is the one throwing the checker board when they lose at someone else’s house. They don’t know what losing is, mommy and daddy always give in and let them win. It builds self-esteem apparently.

#28 The preschool they sent their child to cost more than most graduate programs and was harder to get into. They send their children to private schools that only geniuses get into *or that is what they brag*.

#29 McDonalds is a bad word in their house. McDonalds? All that fat? What kind of abusive parent are you anyway? [Read: Stop giving a damn about what people think]

#30 Their child had a cell phone before they even knew their own number, just in case. GPS is only good if they can call and check on it 24/7.

I have six kids from 21 to 4, so I probably am remiss about way too many things. But to be honest, even with my oldest, who I was probably too young to have, I always thought I wasn’t going to be around to protect him forever.

Just like in the wild, a parent’s job is to train children to exist on their own, not to be dependent on them forever.

[Read: 20 glaring signs you have a control freak in you]

The judgment day will come when my kid knows how to function without me, and yours doesn’t. Get the basement ready; they will likely be hiding out there for their adult life, dear helicopter parents.

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Julie Keating
Julie Keating

A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...

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