We use the term helicopter parents and schema mothers about the parents who expect to control and organize their children’s lives completely. They act with the best of intentions, but they undoubtedly hamper the freedom of children.
Helicopter parents or schedule mothers constantly monitor their children’s homework, assignments, tests, and activities. They never stop tying loose ends or planning every minute of their child’s life.
They are guardians of any kind of information and any academic (and extracurricular) commitment to the child that creates a dynamic of true dependence in them. As a result, it is more difficult for children to learn to take responsibility for their activities, responsibilities, and interests.
Helicopter parents and schedule mothers leaving their children empty
With this overprotective activity and by creating a bubble from the characteristics described above, we end up stimulating the “growth” of children who do not know themselves, who are unable to regulate their emotions, and who do not know their needs and ambitions.
This relationship between parents and children becomes toxic as the children are trapped in an overprotective bubble that seeks to be the most resistant of all armor when in fact it is the best seed of insecurity that we can plant in them. Moreover, these children are overstimulated. They cannot tolerate frustration or boredom. Because they only know how to play the passive role they have been used to.
These parents have the task of protecting their children from discomfort and helping them to be radiant. They determine in detail every little movement for their “bubble children”.
Characteristics of these parents
The origin of the term dates back to 1969, when Haim Ginnott wrote in his book “Between Parent & Teenager” , “my mother would hang over me as if she were a helicopter.” This phenomenon has spread socially and we have ended up at a point where many parents (unfairly) blame the teachers for their child’s bad grades.
Helicopter parents and schedule mothers:
- Make decisions for their children in all areas of their lives.
- Keep an eye on every movement and try to reassure their children with every detail and in an instantaneous way.
- Resolves their children’s conflicts and always tries to deal with them.
- Speaking in the majority: “We need to spend so much time studying this topic!” “Look how much homework they have given us!” etc.
The obsessive need to get everything under control also ends up being devastating for the parents, who end up stretching too far. They try to offer their children a life full of perfection, love and care. They offer them all the resources they can access and prevent them from making mistakes they should make at their age.
What happens is that in the end, reality imposes itself and the flying castles begin to crumble. This kind of relationship ends up being suffocating. Both parties end up getting frustrated and stretched too far, leading to deep complexes and emotional issues.
Overprotective parents who end up being reflected in depression and anxiety
According to various studies , this kind of overprotective upbringing by helicopter parents leads to harmful consequences in the short, medium and long term: depression, anxiety and stress. A price that not only the children have to pay, but also their parents.
This deterioration is a response to the limitation of three basic emotional needs: the feeling or sense of independence, the feeling or sense of competence and the feeling or sense of being attached to others, especially in adolescence and with people on their own age. So anything that limits the child’s emotional development and growth brings devastating consequences on a personal and interpersonal level.
Children need to be educated with care and attention with a foundation of common sense. We can not get involved in the various areas that make up their lives. Nor can we be responsible for their obligations, for they will grow up and feel useless, incompetent and dependent, and that is exactly the opposite of what we want.
Illustrations by Karin Taloyr and Claudia Tremblay