18 Signs You're a Helicopter Parent

18 Signs You're a Helicopter Parent

We all know kids need supervision and attention, but be careful not to overdo it!


By Lorraine Allen

Our grandparents, parents, and most of us, as children, enjoyed hours of free, unsupervised play, and adventures around our neighborhoods and towns or cities daily -- ALONE -- before even entering kindergarten. But today, we are far more cautious when it comes to raising our kids and caring for them. I’m not sure how this cultural shift occurred -- because crime is down, and places are safer today than ever before due to increased security all over -- but for whatever reason, we parent differently now, and sometimes it becomes second nature to watch over our kids like hawks instead of like more relaxed, well-rounded humans.

If anything, helping kids learn to do things on their own, which includes making mistakes, will help them grow up into stronger, more self-confident, and self-aware young adults. Here, 18 warning signs you might be turning into a helicopter parent and could stand to take a few steps back to give yourself -- and your kids -- a little more breathing room and independence. You’ll all enjoy it, I promise!

1. Your kids don't do anything without asking your permission.

2. Your kid won’t climb a tree without making sure you're watching her.

3. You can't have a conversation with peers, because you have to focus too hard on your kids.

4. You don't like to hire sitters, because you feel you can't trust any.

5. You can't remember the last time you had someone else watch your kids (and that includes your own family and close friends).

6. You don’t make a phone call without telling your kids you’ll be busy for a few minutes.

7. Your kid is school-aged, but you still pick out his outfits.

8. When your kid argues with another kid, you step in and tell her how to make her point.

9. When your kid is having a conversation, you monitor it so you can correct him or tell him how to say things differently.

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10. When your kid is drawing or painting you suggest to her what to draw or paint.

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11. When your kid wants to try or do something he has not done before, you prefer to just do it yourself for him, as usual.

12. When your kid wants to go play in the yard, you tell her to wait so you can go with her.

13. You’ve been waiting years to get your kid a bike or scooter, because you don’t like the idea of him going too much faster than you.

14. After your kid has been at a playdate, you call the friend’s parent to get a full report on the day, and her behavior. Just to be sure you didn’t miss anything crucial.

15. When people mention saving for your kids’ college, all you can think is, “no way are they going away to school!”

16. Each time your kid has a bowel movement, you like to take a peek, just to make sure everything is in order.

17. Your kid can barely spell, but you still snoop around his room to see what he is up to or might be hiding in there.

18. When someone asks your kid what she wants to be when she grows up, you answer for her.

What signs do you think point to a parent being a helicopter?


Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 6-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/Tuned_In


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