Helicopter parenting cripples success


SOME parents are so obsessed with their children’s success and safety to an extent that they vigilantly hover over them, like a helicopter, sheltering them from mistakes and disappointments and incubating them from the world around them.

I observed with great concern how some parents are mistakenly setting their children up for failure by pushing them too hard for championship.

This is usually done with the strong belief that either the children are not aware of what they desire to accomplish in their lifetime or that whatever they are passionate about may not be good for them.

Instead of launching and nurturing a generation of ambitious, happy and innovative young adults, such parents have created a depressed generation.

They think that by being so stringent on their children, they can be able to make them do everything right.

They do this despite common knowledge that no one can be that perfect.

This breeds a generation of young adults who are afraid of taking risks, who engage in unscrupulous behaviour in order to cope with stress or who don’t know how to navigate their lives without their parents’ input.

Such children become preoccupied with their past instead of being excited about the potential they have to shape their future.

I will share with you seven areas which I believe parents should consider revising in order to raise a successful generation.

  •  Never compare children

Each child is unique in their own way and need not be compared with their siblings. Children require different attention and each have their own aspirations and capacities which I believe should be nurtured without necessarily referring to the other children who are considered successful.

Comparing your children poses a danger of lowering their self esteem. Why not allow each child to pursue their dreams without pressuring them to follow in the footsteps of the other children in the family?

  •  Don’t live your life through your children

Some parents have a tendency of attempting to fulfil their unaccomplished dreams and aspirations through pressuring their children to pursue these lost opportunities. Children should not be forced to follow in the footsteps of their parents unless they have a genuine desire to do so. One of the deadliest creativity killer emanates from detecting how children should live their lives.

  •  Show them the way, don’t lead them into it

I know that some parents are over protective to an extent that they feel that letting go of their children would ruin them. They are of course sceptical of what their neighbours and relatives would say whenever their worst fears are proven correct.

While such parents think that they are paving way for success, they don’t realise that they are seen as being too pushy and completely oblivious of their children’s fundamental needs. Their crime is that of exhibiting too much of physical presence while stirring more emotional disengagement.

I believe it is enough to show your children the way and allow them to do the walking down the road to success. I am not suggesting that parents should fold their hands and allow children to go astray, definitely not! Think about this: How would you know if your child is capable or not if you don’t give them an opportunity to try, fail and pick themselves up again?

  • Concentrate on the wider long-term vision

Most parents are preoccupied with the narrow and short-sighted vision of success as if they will forever be with their children. Children have their own dreams and desires which should take them into the future. Remember, they still have a long way to go in this life’s journey.

  • Educate children at family level

You can educate your children in a non-academic setting by teaching them to become experts in certain skills that can be acquired without academic training. By so doing, you add more value to their already existing basket of knowledge.

  •  Don’t rely on children for status uplifting

Some parents heavily rely on their children for socioeconomic status uplifting. Children end up being saddled with responsibilities to take a family name to great heights which they fail to do most of the times. It is my hope that parents would stop measuring their self worth based on the success of their child especially in comparison with the competitiveness of the society at large.

  •  Support your children, don’t expect pay-back

I know of parents who sacrifice a lot on their children’s welfare with expectations for favours in return. They send them to the most expensive schools, to higher learning institutions and for training at highly expensive institutions with the hope that their children will someday pay back. Let it be the child’s choice to please their parents and to show appreciation for them.