Since the loss of neighborhood safety and the rise of pressure on students, the role of parents in children’s lives has increased significantly from just making sure they make it home in time for curfew. Today, parents are stalking every move of their children, whether it be driving them from place to place, monitoring grades, or scheduling appointments. Parents have made “helicopter parenting” into an epidemic that may be seriously harming future generations.
Helicopter parenting is a cultural phenomenon. In studies conducted by Chris Segrin of the University of Arizona, along with Michelle Givertz of California State University, Chico, and Neil Montgomery of Keene State College, the issue with this new norm is that “excessive levels of involvement, control, and problem solving” are being dealt with by the parents, not the children, out of the supposed well-being of the children. This means that often, a child’s own personal growth is compromised as a result of their controlling parents.
Not only does helicopter parenting hinder teens and adolescents from maturing into their own person, it actually can have detrimental mental consequences on the child and their relationship with their parents. A large cause of this is “parental conditional regard,” which describes when parents, subconsciously or purposefully, withdraw affection from children when they do not perform at an expected level.
The most daunting effect of over-parenting is that it is working to create an entitled generation. While much of Generation Z looks down on Millennials and Generation X-ers for their sense of self-entitlement, Generation Z may have worked to cause this issue. Helicopter parenting breeds narcissism, for it produces a generation who expects to be chauffeured around or cooked for, among other things. And finally, when this generation is grown and faces the fact that not everything is handed to them, they are left with underdeveloped coping skills to handle excess stress and anxiety they have from facing life on their own.
So, the next time you find yourself snapping at your mom because you are hungry for dinner, stop yourself, and consider getting your own food. It really is for your own benefit.
“Helicopter Parenting-It’s Worse Than You Think.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, http://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/nation-wimps/201401/helicopter-parenting-its-worse-you-think.
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