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How Helicopter Parents Affect Their Children’s Mental Health for a Lifetime, According to Study

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How Helicopter Parents Affect Their Children’s Mental Health for a Lifetime, According to Study

Helicopter parents are perhaps this generation’s worst nightmare. From stalking your internet history to calling you every five minutes when you’re away at a party in a friend’s place, we all know what it is like when our mom and dad tend to be just too over protective and cross the invisible line that invades our privacy. Being concerned for your child’s welfare and safety is one thing, but putting their lives on twenty-four-seven surveillance and dictating their every choice and controlling their every move is another. Helicopter parenting takes it to a whole new level, using the time-tested excuse that elders know what’s best for their kids. This actually does way more harm than good.

As per a 2013 study involving 297 students, published  in the “Journal of Child and Family Studies,” college students with helicopter parents reported significantly higher levels of depression and less satisfaction in life and attributed this decrease in well-being to a violation of the students’ “basic psychological needs for autonomy and competence.” Academically overbearing parents may not only force their child to take up a major they have no interest or talent in, but plan their every career choice, leaving no room for voicing the student’s desires. Ultimately, the effects of helicopter parenting do not conclude with a teenager’s coming of age or a student’s moving out; it is lifelong and with deadly consequences.

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1. They kill the child’s confidence.

Over-parenting may be advertised as leading the child to success, but in reality, it paves the way for a hassle-free one-way trip to hell. A child who grows up with parents who do everything for him/her, lacks the proper decision-making skills required to face life. One learns from one’s mistakes, but the helicopter mother won’t allow her precious daughter to ever make the wrong move, and as a result, the child never learns how to do the right thing. Without proper experience, the kid never learns to trust their own abilities and choices, and their self-confidence level suddenly drops. This manifests in social anxiety, withdrawal, and low self-esteem issues.

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2. Depression is inevitable; suicide is possible.

Frustrated and alone, such children succumb to depression, and many of them consider, if not attempt, suicide. College students with helicopter parents reported significantly higher levels of depression and less satisfaction in life. Thus, instead of teaching them how to live, parents end up providing a crash course on how to die.

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3. The child cannot cope with real world problems.

Helicopter parents tend to forget that they cannot protect their child forever. Without the constant monitoring of an anxious dad, the son is unable to fend for himself, and performing simple day-to-day tasks become impossible. Such people are also very vulnerable and run the high risk of being cheated, for they have absolutely no idea what to do when everything is in their hands. The well-protected child is absolutely powerless to navigate the thorny paths of reality.

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4. All relationships turn sour.

With every need taken care of and every wish being fulfilled before it is even uttered, children of helicopter parents may come off as selfish, immature, and impractical, to no fault of their own. They never know the meaning of adjusting and compromising, and as a result, inter-personal relationships suffer. They cannot connect with other individuals, often lack empathy, and although they may have the very best intentions when it comes to helping others, they may realize that they do not actually know how to help someone in need. As a result, they may never find true friends to make their lives a little less lonely.

The Way Out

Helicopter parenting is becoming increasingly common, and hence, it is imperative to raise awareness about its dangerous lifelong effects it entails. Ultimately, a parent’s job is not to be the child’s best friend or force their unfulfilled aspirations upon their offspring, but to teach him/her to be a healthy, functioning adult. While the promise of being there for your kids is lovely and tempting, the best parents teach their kids to help themselves.

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

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How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

Children are most likely to say that they want to just lounge around or rest for a while after spending hours listening to lecture after lecture from their teachers. There is nothing wrong with this if they had a rough day.

What’s disturbing, is if they deliberately stay away from schoolwork or procrastinate when it comes to reviewing for their tests or completing an important science project.

When it seems that it is becoming a habit for your child to put off school work, it’s time for you to step in and help your child develop good study habits to get better grades. It is important for you to emphasize to your child the importance of setting priorities early in life. Don’t wait for them to flunk their tests, or worse, fail in their subjects before you talk to them about it.

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You can help your children hurdle their tests with these 7 tips:

1. Help them set targets

Ask your child what they want to achieve for that particular school year. Tell them to set a specific goal or target. If they say, “I want to get better grades,” tell them to be more specific. It will be better if they say they want to get a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Having a definite target will make it easier for them to undertake a series of actions to achieve their goals, instead of just “shooting for the moon.”

2. Preparation is key

At the start of the school year, teachers provide an outline of a subject’s scope along with a reading list and other course requirements. Make sure that your child has all the materials they need for these course requirements. Having these materials on hand will make sure that your child will have no reason to procrastinate and give them the opportunity to study in advance.

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3. Teach them to mark important dates

You may opt to give them a small notebook where they can jot down important dates or a planner that has dates where they can list their schedule. Ask them to show this to you so you can give them “gentle reminders” to block off the whole week before the dates of an exam. During this week, advise your child to not schedule any social activity so they can concentrate on studying.

4. Schedule regular study time

Encourage your child to set aside at least two hours every day to go through their lessons. This will help them remember the lectures for the day and understand the concepts they were taught. They should be encouraged to spend more time on subjects or concepts that they do not understand.

5. Get help

Some kids find it hard to digest or absorb mathematical or scientific concepts. Ask your child if they are having difficulties with their subjects and if they would like to seek the help of a tutor. There is nothing wrong in asking for the assistance of a tutor who can explain complex subjects.

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6. Schedule some “downtime”

Your child needs to relax from time to time. During his break, you can consider bringing your child to the nearest mall or grocery store and get them a treat. You may play board games with them during their downtime. The idea is to take his mind off studying for a limited period of time.

7. Reward your child

If your child achieves their goals for the school year, you may give them a reward such as buying them the gadget they have always wanted or allowing them to vacation wherever they want. By doing this, you are telling your child that hard work does pay off.

Conclusion

You need to take the time to monitor your child’s performance in school. Your guidance is essential to helping your child realize the need to prioritize their school activities. As a parent, your ultimate goal is to expose your child to habits that will lay down the groundwork for their future success.

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Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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