Calling All Helicopter Parents… Tell Me Your Story!

23 months.

If you are a helicopter parent, think you might be one, or have been recently called one by someone you know, tell me about it.

Do you “hover over” your child? Are you considered to be “over-involved” in your child’s life?

I’m curious and I want to explain why.

Recently I finished a 3 part series on trying to figure out if I was a helicopter parent. (I know now that I’m not.)

However, to come to that conclusion, I compared myself to extreme stereotypes of what I imagine(d) a helicopter parent to be.

While that may have been effective in helping me reach the conclusion of my self-analysis, it still leaves things quite blurry on what a real helicopter parent is actually like.

By gathering stories from readers, I want to be able to present a collective image of a true helicopter parent.

I want to hear which of your behaviors cause you to be labeled as one.

Allow me to give my grandiose stereotype of a helicopter parent so that my preconceived ideas can be proven wrong:

A true helicopter parent believes the “cry it method” is evil and therefore their child rarely sleeps in their own bed, up until the child’s preteen years. The child is given prescription drugs as early as preschool to help them with ADHD and/or depression, as the child never really learns to cope with their own emotions.

Years later, the child has trouble finding their classes in high school and even college, calling their parents for help. Similarly, the child is still completely dependent on their parents, well into their 20′s, for laundry and cooked meals.

Ultimately, the child never really learns to stand up for themselves or believe in themselves.

They never learn individuality, because their concept of it is based completely on how their parents perceive them.

By the time they reach adulthood, all the “babying” their parents have done has preserved them in a perpetual state of “what am I supposed to do?”

Now is your chance to enlighten me, as well as the rest of us, who don’t understand your parenting style. Now is your chance to defend your proud stance as a helicopter parent. Set the record straight by overwriting the stereotype I just shared.

Send me an email. Tweet me. Contact me on The Dadabase Facebook page.

All of those things are super easy to do, just by clicking on the appropriate icon on the right side of the screen, underneath “Follow Nick Shell.”

Or just simply leave a comment below.

Okay, go…


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  1. by

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  2. by Meghan

    On October 20, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Hi Nick,
    I would probably be considered a moderate helicopter parent. I hover quite often, though I try not to. We have co-slept with our child since we brought her home (2 years now), though we are working on breaking that habit. I am always there if she get hurts, though I try not to fuss if she thinks she is fine. I have learned children are amazingly resilient. I HATE the cry it out method. My daughter is too stubborn. We tried a few different methods. After 3 hours of trying and vomit, it was not worth it. Though, I do not judge parents who are able to make it work (I may actually be jealous!) I do not believe in medicating children for no reason. I believe it is important to teach my daughter to understand,express, and cope with her emotions. I try to teach my daughter the skills she needs to become a healthy, smart, independent, and loving young lady. However, I do not trust other people. Abuse often comes from places you would never expect. Until my daughter is old enough to tell me about any abuse, I feel I must be certain that she is never in that danger. I hover when we are at parks, in public, at family events, or abound other people who I do not fully trust. If I have any question in my mind, they are never alone with my child. I do not parent “by the book” nor do I believe anyone should judge different parenting styles. In the end we are doing what we feel is best for our child.

  3. by Rachel

    On October 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

    My understanding of a helicopter parent is that it comes more from a place of control that starts with love. We love our children, therefore we want the best for them, but helicopter parents want so badly for their children to never get hurt, always make the “right” choice, know the “right” people, go to the “right” schools/colleges, have the “right” career, look the “right” way…that they hover to the point of making any and all choices for their children so they will avoid having any problems and *should* have the perfect childhood/life. The problem is that by protecting your child to that extreme, they lose out on the opportunity to make their own choices, deal with the resulting consequences (good and bad), and through their choices and consequences figure out who they are, what they want to do/be, and worst of all, it robs them of the confidence to trust themselves in any situation that requires them to make a decision on their own because the underlying message sent to children of helicopter parents is that “You’re not capable of making your own choices, so I have to step in and do it for you.” I think as our children are all young we all pretty much look the same as parents…protecting them from getting hurt, keeping them fed, clothed, safe, and loved. I think the “helicopter” parents are separated from the pack as our children get older and require more independence that the helicopters aren’t able or willing to give.

  4. by HeliMom

    On October 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Definitely helicopter parents. I don’t so much want to push my parenting style on others as I want parents everywhere to stop bashing overprotective parents and realize that some of us are success stories. Hoping to fight back for those parents that cower each time we are bashed in the media or by other peers.

    We are definitely deeply involved in our [now teenagers] life and we have a phenomenal relationship with her and her friends. The same parents that tease how we keep her in a “bubble” also breathe a sign of relief when we care for their children.

    I don’t think that not all strangers [men in particular] are kidnapping molesters, but I think it’s okay to be cautious with them anyway. We could send the same message without verbalyl abusing parents that choose to hover. We are described as crazy, stalkers, Tigers, etc. You will have to search high and low to find any nice comments about the success stories. From other moms to physicians to media, they all attack and generalize.

    I have started my blog journey to illuminate the world on my controversial style [helicopter] and its results; which don’t always have to end disastrously.

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