- Poor Self-Regulation – Another study concluded that helicopter parenting negatively influenced children’s ability to self-regulate. They weren’t able to control their own emotions, reactions, and behaviour as effectively as peers with less intrusive parents.
All of these factors show just how detrimental helicopter parenting can be and how the effects can last for a long time. While children do benefit from parental intervention sometimes, it is important to develop a balanced approach that allows children to develop their own independence.
Impact of Helicopter Parenting on Parents
Some studies suggest that this form of parenting does have a positive impact on adults. Moms and dads who are overly involved in their child’s life sometimes enjoy a greater sense of happiness and meaning, especially because they see the child’s successes as a consequence of their protectiveness or intervention.
However, other studies indicate being overly-involved can cause additional stress, anxiety, dependency, and can have long-term consequences for adults after their children are independent. These parents live centre around their children which means they could struggle when empty nest syndrome kicks in.
A recent study found that parents that adopted the respectful approach were less stressed and felt more competent. Parents who were allowed to continue with an overprotective approach were significantly more stressed and also more self-critical, but they were less competent. The study suggested that a respectful approach that allowed children a little more independence improved everyone’s experience.
Respectful Approach Intervention
The Respectful Approach Intervention encourages parents to treat their children as independent human beings who can learn from their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment. It is an approach that allows children to explore their world freely as long as they don’t sustain any material harm.
For example, you can allow your child to walk and run around in a grassy lawn. You can let them stumble, fall, bump into different installations, just so that they can learn how to avoid different obstacles and remain balanced on their feet. An experiment conducted by Edith Cowan University’s School of Medical and Health Sciences showcases the benefits of a more respectful approach to parenting.
1. What Was the Experiment?
The experiment involved a class of infants and toddlers with their parents. They were observed for six weeks and divided into two groups. One group of parents were asked to observe their child play and interact with peers without intervening at any point. The other controlled group was allowed to intervene and rescue their child every time they felt the need to assist.
- The sample size involved 38 individuals. There were 15 parents with infants and nine parents with toddlers in the class.
- The control group had 23 parents with children under the age of two.
- Infants were between four to eight months old and toddlers were between sixteen and twenty months.
- Infants and toddlers were kept separate.
- The groups were observed for six weeks and the same parent had to attend all of the sessions.
- Parents sat at the same place every day throughout the class. Children were allowed to go to their parents whenever they wanted to.
- Infants were placed on a comfortable play mat on their backs and allowed to explore as well.
- Parents provided weekly feedback and asked questions when necessary.
The class provided a safe environment with all age-appropriate toys so the children were in a comfortable environment. They didn’t seek out their parent’s assistance when they encountered challenges and weren’t in any undue stress.
2. What Were The Results?
Many parents reported that they felt less stressed and didn’t experience much performance anxiety. The controlled group felt their stress increase significantly over the six weeks.
3. Did Parents Struggle?
Parents did struggle to hold back at first but after observing their child resolve all challenges without any intervention.
4. What Were the Long-Term Effects?
Parents reported a change of perspective and a renewed confidence in their child’s ability to deal with different challenges. Many changed their approach to parenting, allowing their children a little more freedom to explore and grow.
A healthier approach to parenting is beneficial for both adults and children. It helps improve communication, sets healthy boundaries, and ensures children develop into well-adjusted adults. It also helps parents reflect on their emotions as many indulge in helicopter parenting because of underlying issues like childhood neglect or abuse, excessive peer pressure, lack of self-confidence, issues with fertility or conception, etc. Adults need to pay proper attention to these underlying issues and get help to resolve them.
The idea is to create positive communication between parent and child. Hovering and over-protectiveness often leads to a strained relationship down the line. It’s best for a child to have some level of independence and freedom as that will boost their confidence levels and make them more self-reliant.
At Clovel, we have now started to slowly get back to regular school schedules and find that most students are eager to attend. We have various sanitation and cleaning procedures in place and our educators and staff are careful with following all the guidelines related to post-pandemic work measures. We are just as eager to help our students get back to normal routines and learning.
For any more information, call Clovel Childcare and Early Learning Centre, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. For any information about our Educational Programs, give us a call at 02 9199 0294 or fill in this contact us form.
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