Do you hover over your children, always concerned something bad is going to happen to them? Do you constantly try to prevent them from getting hurt, making mistakes or failing in a task? Rabbi Shmuley talks about the dangers of helicopter parenting and why it isn't effective.
According to Rabbi Shmuley, helicopter parenting is usually caused by a parent's lack of good relationships. If you are not connected to your spouse or if you are a single parent, then you are so reliant on your children for basic love and affection that you overprotect them, he says. "It's really a form of your fear," he says. "I think the modern-day helicopter parent is also one whose dreams and ambitions are fulfilled through their kids."
Parenting out of fear is the worst way to parent, Rabbi Shmuley says. It makes children fearful themselves. "To hover above your kids all time, you are going to ruin them [because] you are going to teach them that life is going to harm them and that's why you are always watching out for them," he says. "You are going to give them a false impression of the world that it is comprised of incongruent pieces of a puzzle that will never quite fit."
Rabbi Shmuley says children need to learn that if they apply themselves and put their minds to something, they will succeed. If they feel like they always have a safety net—a hovering parent who will always be there—they won't be as determined.
"Helicopter parenting is a manifestation of fear and teaching the child the horrible lesson that the world is a dark place bereft of hope."
Published on January 01, 2008