Helicopter parenting is creating high school graduates who can not compete at the college level.
Helicopter breeding is overprotection, pampering and empowerment that, despite the best intentions of parents, produces overly qualified young people who can not cope with even the most insignificant of challenges.
I believe that the parents of helicopters are responsible for the growing mental health crisis in our colleges and universities. Armed with a great love but erroneous notions, these parents are raising children who, when they reach the post-secondary level, experience emotional melts on a regular basis.
In a recent Toronto Star article Andrea Gordon, education educator talked about how more and more high school children show up at the counseling office with mental health problems, and how school counselors stretch out to their Limit and lack of personnel.
When writing in Slate Magazine, author Julie Lythcott-Haims argues the correlation between the breeding of helicopters and the mental health problems of students . When parents protect their children excessively, children do not learn to take care of themselves; When parents do too much for their children, children do not learn to do things on their own. This leads to children growing up with a lack of confidence and a lot of anxiety around minimal challenges.
Most parents of helicopters are doing everything they can to help their children, but doing too much for them is preventing their emotional growth . These children grow up without knowing how to stand up for themselves, solve their own problems, defend themselves or recover from adversity.
Some parents of helicopters are too invested in the performance of their children, convinced that if their children do well in high school, They will feel better about themselves. These parents will do their children's homework, call the teacher or principal to discuss the grades, and pressure colleges to accept their children, even when the children do not meet the admission requirements.
Curses and overcrowding will create children who lack the basic survival strategies necessary for success in school and in life
The children of this type of parents have a double disadvantage: not only can they not cope with an emotional level, but they have not been allowed to develop the academic skills that would lead them to success in postsecondary education or their future careers. When confronted with mediocre grades and the stress of expectations associated with higher education, these children are prepared for a breakdown.
Recently, for my Ruthless Compassion podcast series, I interviewed Dr. Holly Rogers, a psychiatrist in charge of the mental health of students at Duke University in North Carolina. Rogers described how he witnessed similar problems in several of his students.
Rogers noted that college students who were raised by helicopter parents have barely survived, while those who have had to face some adversity in their young lives and that are expected to deal with problems are mostly in comparison, excelling, both academically and socially.
Neither I nor Rogers are advocating that we abandon our children or deliberately endanger them, but we are both aware that the excess of malpractice and overreaching will create children who lack the basic coping strategies necessary for success in school and in life.
Perhaps one of the best options for a child with helicopter parents would be to take a sabbatical between high school and college and go through your account to work, travel, have adventures and finally learn to stand by your own feet. It could be the cure for their over-nurturing.
It does not help that academic institutions and government bureaucracies are reinforcing the message of overprotection and excessive programming of high school children. Recently, a single parent in British Columbia was threatened by a wrong government office when he lost access to his children because he forced them to ride the bus on his own, even though the children were thriving as they did so. These institutions are disappointing our youth by not recognizing that they need more autonomy and responsibility; no more pampering.
It is essential that Let's reconsider how we grew up. If we really want the best for our children, we must focus on making them more resilient and empowered.
Recently, in Utah, a bill was passed that allows parents to give their children more freedom without fear of school or government repercussions. Parents now know that they can allow their children to go to school alone or play outdoors without getting into legal trouble.
We have to stop doing our children's homework and call the teacher or the principal whenever we do not like our child's grade. Maybe it's time to find out why our son is struggling with that particular class. The child may need additional help, or perhaps they just need to develop better study habits.
Maybe all our mime has left them so lacking in trust that they need support to see that they are able to function independently and competently.
We have to stop protecting our children excessively and fight in all their battles for them
We have to Stop overprogramming our children and let them play outdoors on their own, without supervision or adult control. We have to trust our children and recognize that they are smart young people with resources, who can take better care of themselves than we could imagine.
When our children can spend time playing alone among themselves, they will learn essential life skills, including leadership, cooperation, problem solving, flexibility and compassion.
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We have to stop protecting our children excessively and fight in all their battles for them. We can teach them good coping skills and then encourage them to practice these skills. This is how they will gain confidence and competence and how they will begin to learn from their mistakes and failures. This is how they will become competitive with their college peers.
High school is our last chance to change the way we are parents before sending our children to college and adult life. If we love them, we must stop going over them and start preparing them for the very real challenges that lie ahead.
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