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gkimball's avatar

What are your observations of Helicopter Parents?

Asked by gkimball (35 points ) July 20th, 2012

Helicopter or snowplow parents in the US, “Curling Parents,” in Sweden…What do you observe about overprotective parents in various countries? I’m hearing US teachers say that when a child needs to be corrected, parents often criticize the teacher and defend the child. Or they call professors to protest a grade. What’s your observation of helicopter parents and any explanations? Thanks.

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6 Answers

Blueroses's avatar

I’m tutoring a student from Pakistan who has high pressure from home to succeed. “You got to go to USA while we starve. You had better be exceptional!”

In my area of US, helicopter parents are not the norm, but they are the squeaky wheels. It doesn’t do their children any favors. The teacher resents the interference. The other kids know, and make kissy face noises at the child, further alienating him/her from peers. This goes into a cycle of bullying/recrimination/retaliation.

Yes. We need to pay attention to bullying and stop that. But, hovering over every tiny detail and demanding a teacher conference for every single incident that doesn’t meet the parent’s expectations ? It may stop the overt bullying, but that child will not be liked or respected among his/her peer group.

josie's avatar

It’s repulsive. I have no respect for such parents, since they are doing no favors for their children. But I have no explanation.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s pretty straight forward, I think. These parents want to protect their kids and give them as many advantages as they can. They think that the scores matter more than actual skills.

I’ve read stories about parents who try to go on job interviews with their kids, and who will call recruiters and try to hector them into hiring their progeny. I think these parents are very fearful that their kids can’t make it on their own.

Blueroses's avatar

@wundayatta Yes. I think these parents have the resources but not the common sense to think they can mitigate all of the bad things that happened to themselves in childhood.

Maybe every parent dreams of a perfect, bubble-wrapped world for their child? Wise parents know when to back-the-fuck-off.

bookish1's avatar

C.f. the thread about parents wanting to keep their children children as long as possible.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I also think some parents like this, especially sports, are reliving or rebuilding their own childhood through their children.

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