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In order to help a child successfully transition into adulthood, parents need to nurture and guide that child along the way. But when a parent feels the need to actually do everything for their child, including the child’s school work, then that parent smothers the child into feeling that everything must be done for them. The term commonly used to describe parents that smother their children is helicopter parents , and these types of parents do more harm than good.

Engaged vs. Helicopter Parents

Many helicopter parents justify their actions by claiming that they are simply engaged in their child’s life. However, when you ask teachers about the difference between engaged and helicopter parents, you have a clear picture of each type of parent. Engaged parents are aware of their child’s abilities, keep a watch on their child’s friends, and take the necessary steps to always know where their children are. Helicopter parents are unsure of their child’s actual competency level, choose their child’s friends, and basically micromanage every move their child makes.

Reasons to Avoid Smothering

Every parent wants to protect their child from the cold, cruel world, but children need to develop on their own if they want to be successful adults. Helicopter parents tend to create troubled teens who rebel against their parents because they want to make their own decisions.

You might associate the concept of a protective dad with standard parental roles that establish order in a child’s life. However, overly protective parents tend to blur the line between nurturing authority figures and overbearing task masters. In the end, smothering a child not only has the potential to create a sense of rebellion but can also dilute the role of the parents in the child’s life.

As Children Mature

Smothering children also generally makes parenting much more difficult. Kids often develop an attitude under normal circumstances, but helicopter parents create a sense of entitlement that can make children especially difficult to deal with. When children grow used to their parents doing everything for them, that creates problems when those children are older and need to take care of themselves.

Helicopter parents also make life significantly more difficult on themselves. Smothering parents commonly claim that raising children is hard work, which can be admittedly true. However, when your children expect you to do everything for them, the job of being a parent becomes even more of a burden.

A well-balanced parent stays in touch with every aspect of their child’s life and offers guidance as needed. However, parents who smother their children wind up living their children’s lives for them and remove any possibility of those children becoming responsible adults. When you put helicopter parents side-by-side with engaged parents, you can easily see the differences between the two and the problems that arise from being helicopter parents. Instead, give your child the tools to learn to manage life on their own without your constant intervention. They might be angry over the short term, but they will thank you in the long run.

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Tyler enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere.

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