Seven-year-old Sanvi has no friends in school as her parents don’t think anyone in her class is worth befriending.
Mridula almost has a panic attack each time her nine-year-old son gets slightly hurt while playing with his friends in the neighbourhood playground. Now she doesn’t let him go out in the playground.
While the doctor says that she’s turning obese and should eat less, six-year-old Navi’s parents find their daughter really thin and are worried that she hardly eats.
Does this sound anywhere like you? Not sure? Ok. Answer this:
Are you always there to catch your little one each time she stumbles?
Do you see other children as potential germ-carriers and make sure your kid maintains a safe distance from them?
And if the answer is ‘yes’, then accept that you are a helicopter parent.
Of course you love your child. However, what you fail to realise here is that you are ‘forever hovering over the head’ of your child that’s marring his mental and psychological growth.
Helicopter parents naively make their kids grow into over-dependent adults who can’t take even simple decisions by themselves. And we come cross many such helicopter parents in our daily lives. Micro managers that they are, they want to control every aspect of their child’s life.
“Helicopter parents are over-anxious and apprehensive. They want ‘only the best’ for their children. The flip side is that such children never become independent and lack decision-making skills even as adults. They face serious identity crisis issues later in life,” says child counsellor Shaina Nagpal.
Care, don’t possess
“But this is what my role is as a parent,” reasons banker Suresh, 38. Right from the clothes he wears to whom he talk to, Suresh and wife Sheela decide everything for their eight-year-old son Hritvik. “To err is a child. This is the way every child learns. Everyone needs to have his or her set of good and bad experiences to be able to grow as a confident individual,” explains Dr Nagpal.
“When kids are given an over-protective environment, they grow up as sulky, morose and brooding adults who lack inter-personal communication skills and face relationship problems of all sorts,” says child psychologist Dr Nandini Sen. He adds, “They are called hyperparents or over-involved parents and nothing stops them. I often ask them if their behaviour is triggered by anxiety or concern for the child.”
Hence, relax. Allow your child some space and see him grow as a distinct, discrete individual with a personality of his own.