How To Strike A Healthy Balance Between Safety And Helicopter Parenting

If you are trying to figure out how to keep your child safe enough without being a helicopter parent, this article is for you.

Undoubtedly, being a parent is challenging. It necessitates a great deal of patience and focus. You must be attentive and involved at all times.

And I understand many parents want their children to be safe, hence the frequent parental involvement in the kids’ affairs.

But sometimes, parents get too involved. Too involved that it becomes a problem. No doubt, parents’ intentions are usually good.

Still, there are times when certain kinds of parenting styles (helicopter parenting, for example) can negatively impact a child’s development, especially in terms of self-efficacy, problem-solving skills, and psychological well-being.

In other words, parental involvement must be controlled to foster children’s independence, flexibility, and progress.

This guide aims to enlighten you on how to strike a healthy balance between safety and helicopter parenting.

In other words, how to ensure the safety of your kids without getting too involved in their lives to the detriment of their development.

What Is Helicopter Parenting

How To Strike A Healthy Balance Between Safety And Helicopter Parenting
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Helicopter parenting is a kind of parenting that can be described as over-parenting. It involves parents interfering and regulating their children’s lives excessively.

One explanation for this parenting style is that the parents worry too much about the child’s safety, that they would suffer injury or fail to thrive. So they are always involved in their children’s affairs to keep them safe.

A “helicopter parent,” also known as a “cosseting parent” or simply a “cosseter,” assists their high school or college-aged child with tasks they can complete on their own (such as calling a professor about subpar grades, setting up a class schedule, or managing exercise habits).

Signs Of A Helicopter Parent

Sometimes parents who hover over their children are unaware they are doing so. As a result, they are unaware that helicopter parenting may hurt their kids.

Here are a few instances of helicopter parenting that show a parent is being overly involved or overly protective of their adolescent:

  • Preventing teenagers from making decisions that are appropriate for their age
  • Making a teenager’s room clean for them
  • Intervening to mediate disputes between a teenager and their pals
  • Monitoring a high school student’s schoolwork and assignments
  • Keeping an eye on a teen’s eating and exercise
  • Sending a college-bound youngster many texts per day
  • The act of interfering in a teen’s life to keep them from sabotaging an endeavor or task.

Reasons For Helicopter Parenting

reasons for helicopter parenting
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There are many reasons why most parents are overparenting and many of the times, those reasons are somewhat logical.

However, most parents fail to realize that by overparenting, they are preventing their children from making decisions, developing a sense of self and confidence, and making them believe that they do not have faith in their abilities, among many other things.

1. Attempting To Outperform Their Parents

Some parents realize the wrongs in their parent’s parenting style and attempt to outperform them, and in that way, they may be crossing the line without even knowing.

Helicopter parents can go too far in making up for their upbringing. For example, adult offspring of neglectful parents may overextend themselves in their efforts to be involved and present.

In the meantime, their children experience suffocation (from excessive attention) rather than love.

Without a doubt, kids require help and direction as they develop into young adults.

But for teenagers to develop and prosper, parents must respect the boundaries.

2. Concern For Their Children

Information has become increasingly accessible during the last few decades. As a result, parents are continually informed about various threats that could potentially harm their children.

Numerous of these risks are improbable or overstated. But as a result, parents frequently experience excruciating worry over the well-being and safety of their kids.

3. Trying To Keep Them Away From ‘Bad’ Influences

Because of the alarming statistics on teen drug usage and opioid overdoses, many parents might get anxious about their kids’ well-being and always want t be on the lookout.

Additionally, parents are concerned about their children’s future due to issues like climate change and a volatile economy.

As a result, parents believe they must watch over their children carefully and do everything in their power to ensure their success.

To a certain extent, that’s a positive thing. Children suffer, though, when parental concern veers into helicopter parenting.

4. Using Their Teen’s Achievements As A Yardstick For Themselves

Parents can mistakenly believe that their teen’s actions and successes reflect their character and parenting abilities.

As a result, they put in extra effort to guide their adolescent toward success and help them be “the best they can be.”

The Psychological Effects Of Helicopter Parenting On Kids

There are some positive effects of helicopter parenting on kids and teenagers. In actuality, these parents frequently have a loving relationship with their children.

Parental warm and encouraging behavior, such as constant communication, emotional support, and openness with children, is often related to helicopter parenting.

However, helicopter parenting also has certain negative impacts. For instance, a study involving over 300 college students discovered that children of hovering parents had lower psychological well-being scores.

Additionally, they had a higher tendency than their counterparts to take prescription drugs for sadness or anxiety.

Additionally, they were more prone to self-medicate for unpleasant symptoms by taking painkillers without a prescription.

According to studies, kids with helicopter parents may suffer long-lasting psychological effects throughout adolescence and adulthood.

Children struggle to learn how to control their emotions and conduct, especially when a parent is overly controlling.

How Helicopter Parenting Affects Personality Development In Teens

Psychological effects of helicopter parenting on teenagers
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It’s critical for teenagers to establish their sense of self when they are not allowed to. They must therefore undertake independent world exploration and test their abilities.

Teenagers also need to learn how to deal with and accept the results of their behavior, and that’s the primary reason why parents shouldn’t step into any discomforting situations their teens go through.

Youth with overbearing, controlling parents have fewer opportunities to develop the crucial abilities that will enable them to succeed as adults.

The detrimental impacts of helicopter parenting on developing a teen’s identity are thus not surprising because we see it happening daily.

Helicopter parenting also hurts teens’ well-being. The relationship between college students’ well-being and their parents’ degrees of control was looked at in a study.

Students with overbearing parents had significantly greater anxiety and despair and worse life satisfaction.

Additionally, the students believed that violating their fundamental psychological demands for autonomy and competence was the cause of these helicopter parenting impacts.

6 Ways You Can Strike A Healthy Balance Between Safety And Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter parenting can strain the parent-child bond in addition to other drawbacks. This is particularly true as kids age and rebel against their parent’s participation.

The entire family will therefore gain if parents can support children without always hovering.

It’s unnecessary to be the opposite of a helicopter parent; parenting without involvement isn’t the best either.

The secret is to balance overprotective parenting and purported free-range parenting. Here are some ideas for being an involved parent without being intrusive.

1. Acknowledge Their Feelings.

Parents don’t have to “make it all better” in some way to ask their children how they are feeling. Teenagers require a good mix of personal space and emotional care. To show compassion, empathy, and unwavering love is not hovering.

2. Be A Mentor Rather Than A Boss.

Parents who hover over their kids and teens often intervene and make decisions for them. However, when using a coaching strategy, parents pose questions that motivate teenagers to seek solutions to their difficulties.

Pose open-ended queries like, “What might help?” or “How would you like this to turn out?”

3. Allow The Results Of Their Actions To Come About Naturally.

Kids learn that they have responsibility for their actions in this manner. They also learn how to make wiser decisions in the future.

There are always exceptions to the norm, such as when doing nothing will endanger a child’s health or safety. Natural outcomes, however, can generally be helpful teaching resources.

4. Avoid Controlling Their Schedule When Necessary.

A teen’s studying, homework, or other activities that do not involve them should not be monitored by their parents.

Teenagers have a sense of autonomy and competence when they are responsible for staying on course.

If they need help remaining organized, it is acceptable to provide tools and suggestions.

5. Let Them Fail.

Nobody likes to see their kid struggle. However, failing is a common and inevitable aspect of life, especially as kids engage with the outside world more frequently and without parental supervision. In actuality, failure can teach much more valuable lessons in life than achievement.

6. Listen Carefully

Parents can best support children by carefully listening to their worries, concerns, and struggles rather than imposing their beliefs and ideals.

Children learn that they can rely on their parents to be there for them without micromanaging as a result. Additionally, they have the chance to sort through the situation with the assistance of a sympathetic listener.

Do You Want To Stop Being A Helicopter Parent? Here’s How To Do It

1. Utilize Technology Sensibly

Using technology appropriately is one of the keys to striking a balance between watching your kids and not helicopter parenting.

To assure their online safety and keep track of their digital activity. Introduce smartwatches, smartphones, monitoring apps, and age-appropriate software. 

It’s crucial to explain to your children the purpose of these monitoring systems, stressing that they are intended to safeguard them rather than invade their privacy.

Respect their demand for independence and privacy, and only use technology as a backup rather than a continual watchdog. 

Promote open dialogue about safe online conduct, digital privacy, and technology’s potential drawbacks and risks.

Using technology properly, you can monitor your kids’ internet activities without engaging in helicopter parenting. This fosters trust and responsible technology use.

2. Encourage Candid Communication

One of the most effective ways to avoid helicopter parenting is to encourage open communication with your children. Build trust from the outset and provide a secure environment for your kids to express themselves.

Encourage candid communication by listening to their worries, viewpoints, and life experiences without judgment. 

Keep an open mind and show genuine interest in what they say. Instead of discounting their thoughts or sentiments, acknowledge them and, if necessary, give guidance.

You may keep informed without having to exercise undue monitoring or control by encouraging open communication and building a climate where your kids feel comfortable expressing their ideas and experiences.

3. Managing Surveillance While Maintaining Privacy

Avoiding invasive parenting requires balancing monitoring and respect for personal space. Respecting your child’s privacy and giving them brief periods of solitude is crucial. 

Don’t linger over them or snoop around their lives all the time. Teach children the value of privacy and digital traces so they may decide what information they share online.

Allowing children to make errors and grow from them is essential for their development as people. 

Maintain open lines of communication so your child feels comfortable sharing their experiences and worries with you rather than continuously observing.

You may encourage a positive parent-child relationship based on trust and autonomy by balancing monitoring and respecting their privacy.

4. Define Boundaries And Expectations Clearly

Setting boundaries and expectations is crucial to avoid helicopter parenting while guaranteeing your children’s well-being.

Start by outlining the rules for curfews, screen time restrictions, and social media usage. Explain the rationale behind these restrictions, highlighting their significance for security and a child’s healthy growth. 

Include your kids in creating the rules so they feel ownership and a voice. Encourage conversations regarding the justification for the laws, paying attention to their opinions and considering their suggestions. 

This cooperative approach promotes a sense of responsibility and autonomy in your kids while helping them comprehend the rules and expectations.

You may provide your kids with a framework for life navigation that respects their originality and personal development while establishing clear boundaries and expectations.

5. Encourage Self-reliance And Accountability

One of the most essential methods for avoiding intrusive parenting is to teach your kids independence and responsibility. Gradually provide children with age-appropriate freedoms to make decisions and see the results of those decisions in the real world. 

You may teach children problem-solving techniques and decision-making by involving them in family decisions and discussing possible outcomes.

Give them age-appropriate chores and assignments that promote responsibility and personal development.

Instead of rushing to fix their problems for them, please encourage them to take responsibility for their actions and learn from their failures. 

While avoiding the hazards of overprotectiveness and excessive control, you can empower your children to build resilience, self-reliance, and critical thinking abilities by encouraging independence and responsibility.


In summary, striking a healthy balance between safety and helicopter parenting is a delicate task that requires much attention and careful consideration.

We all want our kids to be safe and protected, but we must also recognize the need to foster their independence and self-confidence.

To strike this healthy balance, we must be involved in our children’s lives yet allow them to explore, make mistakes, and learn from them. We must also consider their emotional and psychological needs and demonstrate our level of involvement accordingly.

Also, this balance must provide a nurturing and supportive environment that encourages their growth and allows them to develop their skills and decision-making abilities.

Finally, parents must understand that finding the right balance between safety and helicopter parenting is a continuous process that evolves as children grow.

This means we must continually reassess our parenting approach and adapt to new methods that fit the developmental stage of our children.

By striking this healthy balance, we can raise confident and independent individuals that can handle life’s challenges while knowing they always have supportive and loving parents.

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