Extra Affection Can't Counteract Negative Results of Helicopter Parenting


Extra love and support doesn’t neutralize the effects of helicopter parenting, according to a study at Brigham Young University.

Helicopter parenting is a new term defined as a style of parenting that involves making important decisions for children, solving their problems and intervening in their conflicts. The children of helicopter parents often have low self esteem and engage in high risk behavior like binge drinking or unprotected sex. Children of helicopter parents are also often less engaged in school. Essentially, the parenting style is nothing but damaging for children.

“From our past work, we thought there might be something positive about helicopter parenting under certain conditions, but we’re just not finding it,” Larry Nelson, study lead, said.

The study also found that a lack of warmth combined with helicopter parenting is a lethal combination. Some 438 undergraduate students from four U.S. universities rated their self worth and their risk behaviors in connection to their parents’ controlling behavior. The results indicate a decrease of self worth with helicopter parenting.

"Overall, stepping in and doing for a child what the child developmentally should be doing for him or herself, is negative," Nelson said. "Regardless of the form of control, it's harmful at this time period."

Nelson noted that helicopter parents simply can’t justify their parenting styles now that the results have been discovered. He has also advised parents not to overcompensate from helicopter parenting by becoming uninvolved and lacking support or warmth.

Nelson’s first study on helicopter parenting was published in 2012 in the Journal of Adolescence. It established that helicopter parenting deprived children of the skills for successful marriages, career and social interactions.

The new study appeared in Emerging Adulthood.

Source: KSL


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