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Helicopter parenting and anxiety
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 4:28 pm
Do you think there is a correlation between anxiety in children and helicopter parenting? I’m very much not a helicopter parent and I noticed that all my friends that are have anxious kids and I was wondering if it’s a correlation or coincidence.
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amother
NeonPink


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 4:30 pm
amother OP wrote:
Do you think there is a correlation between anxiety in children and helicopter parenting? I’m very much not a helicopter parent and I noticed that all my friends that are have anxious kids and I was wondering if it’s a correlation or coincidence.


Well…I think helicopter parenting is rooted in anxiety as well, so there’s the genetic component!
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amother
Purple


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 4:34 pm
Helicopter parents are that way because they're anxious, so it's no stretch for their children to be anxious, too, whether or not parents or children have an official diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.

It is, however, possible for a non-anxious parent to have an anxious child, and even for an anxious parent to luck out and have a non-anxious child. I don't believe anxiety is a genetic trait.
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amother
Tuberose


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 4:41 pm
I'm the opposite of helicopter and one of my kids is very anxious by nature. He is also super confident and thinks he can do everything because of all the things I trust him with. The anxiety is more about bedtime and nighttime rather than new experiences.
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amother
Moccasin


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 4:42 pm
amother Purple wrote:
Helicopter parents are that way because they're anxious, so it's no stretch for their children to be anxious, too, whether or not parents or children have an official diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.

It is, however, possible for a non-anxious parent to have an anxious child, and even for an anxious parent to luck out and have a non-anxious child. I don't believe anxiety is a genetic trait.


I believe the genetic tendencies are there and then you add a parent modeling the behavior and BINGO.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 4:43 pm
amother Tuberose wrote:
I'm the opposite of helicopter and one of my kids is very anxious by nature. He is also super confident and thinks he can do everything because of all the things I trust him with. The anxiety is more about bedtime and nighttime rather than new experiences.


Interesting didn’t know it was possible for a kid to have that combination
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Cheiny




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 4:46 pm
amother NeonPink wrote:
Well…I think helicopter parenting is rooted in anxiety as well, so there’s the genetic component!


One person’s Definition of helicopter parenting might be someone else’s idea of being careful with their kids. For example, on this site, there are people who think that if you don’t leave your three, four and five year olds outside, unattended, you are overly cautious.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 4:47 pm
Cheiny wrote:
One person’s Definition of helicopter parenting might be someone else’s idea of being careful with their kids. For example, on this site, there are people who think that if you don’t leave your three, four and five year olds outside, unattended, you are overly cautious.


I mean hovering and always helping. Not referring to being present in “normal” ways.
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amother
Hibiscus


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 4:59 pm
Some kids develop anxiety from having very relaxed parents, when they feel their parents are not ‘in charge’ enough and the kids feel like they need to be the responsible ones instead.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 5:01 pm
amother Hibiscus wrote:
Some kids develop anxiety from having very relaxed parents, when they feel their parents are not ‘in charge’ enough and the kids feel like they need to be the responsible ones instead.


I see that too. But I was thinking helicopter vs. attentive parent but one that gives kids the space to explore and figure out age appropriate things.
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amother
Purple


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 5:04 pm
amother Moccasin wrote:
I believe the genetic tendencies are there and then you add a parent modeling the behavior and BINGO.
Quite possibly. Almost everything is a combination of genetics and environment, with environment affecting which genetic elements are expressed and which are not.
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amother
Ebony


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 9:04 pm
All Helicopters are NOT equal.

1. Competent vs Incompetent Helicopters
A competent helicopter is like an advanced surgeon, very skilled, overseeing the training of a new resident doctor. The parent teaches the child how to be skilled at something. Unusually, it is purely trade, this is when the parent is literally teaching a career to their child, such as a cowboy/farmer, or a business owner, who intends that the child take over one day. More commonly, it is a socially competent person, who understands how to act in society to achieve one's purposes and be liked, and is teaching these (very useful) skills to the child. Of these parents, you have ones who are emotionally intuned, and ones who are not (imagine a "nice attending doctor" vs a "mean attending doctor"). The children of both will still respect their parents, but the children of the non-emotionally intuned ones will feel a hole where they missed out on typical parental love. When these children "go out on their own", they may experience more anxiety than normal to start with, but since they were competently trained, the anxiety will soon subside because of positive feedback they get from doing things successfully.

2. Incompetent Helicopters - This is almost always parents who are themselves socially incompetent (and usually with social anxiety) but demand that their children do exactly what they say socially, anyway. Some of the parents actually don't realize that they are socially incompetent, others may admit that they themselves aren't good in social situations, but using the child as a shield (starting conversation by publicly criticising or laughing at the child, etc) gives them something to do that takes the negativity off themselves (by putting it on the child instead) so lessens their own social anxiety. There are two kinds of Incompetent Helicopters:
A. Emotionally intuned Incompetent: these ones don't do anything on purpose to hurt the child, admit their own failings, and encourage feedback from the child and take the child's feelings and opinions into consideration. For example, a mom who has a moderate phobia of leaving the house, but she gets therapy, since she's a helicopter she prefers to keep the child with her, but since she's intuned she does what's best for him by often allowing him to leave . She'll often have a lot of unnecessary helicoptery preparations for him to leave the house (overdressing, overpacking, etc). When she pushes herself to go to his graduation, he'll be embarassed that she's literally wringing her hands and obviously on edge, but she'll be able to laugh at herself in this situation. It's not easy for these kids but they will love their parents, they won't exactly respect them though.
B. Emotionally Not-Intuned Helicopters.
This is the mom who won't let her kid go anywhere without her, but sabotages all his social interactions by publicly criticising him often disguised as humor at the kid's expense ("you should see how messy my kids' room is!"), doesn't allow him to do anything at all risky ("No, Davy, you're too small for that slide, the last thing I need is to deal with a skinned knee right now!"). Micromanages the kid's social interactions, but with bad results for the kid. When confronted with the bad results, either (A) well you deserved it or (B) you didn't do what I told you right or (C) well you shouldn't feel that way. Never apologizes to child, never admits own failures, does not allow child to express grievences against parent, does not take child's feelings into account at all. These kids will grow up to hate their parents, neither loving nor respecting them, and will often cut contact. Ironically, when these kids "get out on their own" they will often start with MORE confidence/less anxiety, because they were never allowed to try things and overestimate their ability. However, since they were incompetently trained, bad feedback will soon take over and beat them down, and tomake it worse they'll have the parent's voice in their head saying they can't.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 10:41 pm
amother Ebony wrote:
All Helicopters are NOT equal.

1. Competent vs Incompetent Helicopters
A competent helicopter is like an advanced surgeon, very skilled, overseeing the training of a new resident doctor. The parent teaches the child how to be skilled at something. Unusually, it is purely trade, this is when the parent is literally teaching a career to their child, such as a cowboy/farmer, or a business owner, who intends that the child take over one day. More commonly, it is a socially competent person, who understands how to act in society to achieve one's purposes and be liked, and is teaching these (very useful) skills to the child. Of these parents, you have ones who are emotionally intuned, and ones who are not (imagine a "nice attending doctor" vs a "mean attending doctor"). The children of both will still respect their parents, but the children of the non-emotionally intuned ones will feel a hole where they missed out on typical parental love. When these children "go out on their own", they may experience more anxiety than normal to start with, but since they were competently trained, the anxiety will soon subside because of positive feedback they get from doing things successfully.

2. Incompetent Helicopters - This is almost always parents who are themselves socially incompetent (and usually with social anxiety) but demand that their children do exactly what they say socially, anyway. Some of the parents actually don't realize that they are socially incompetent, others may admit that they themselves aren't good in social situations, but using the child as a shield (starting conversation by publicly criticising or laughing at the child, etc) gives them something to do that takes the negativity off themselves (by putting it on the child instead) so lessens their own social anxiety. There are two kinds of Incompetent Helicopters:
A. Emotionally intuned Incompetent: these ones don't do anything on purpose to hurt the child, admit their own failings, and encourage feedback from the child and take the child's feelings and opinions into consideration. For example, a mom who has a moderate phobia of leaving the house, but she gets therapy, since she's a helicopter she prefers to keep the child with her, but since she's intuned she does what's best for him by often allowing him to leave . She'll often have a lot of unnecessary helicoptery preparations for him to leave the house (overdressing, overpacking, etc). When she pushes herself to go to his graduation, he'll be embarassed that she's literally wringing her hands and obviously on edge, but she'll be able to laugh at herself in this situation. It's not easy for these kids but they will love their parents, they won't exactly respect them though.
B. Emotionally Not-Intuned Helicopters.
This is the mom who won't let her kid go anywhere without her, but sabotages all his social interactions by publicly criticising him often disguised as humor at the kid's expense ("you should see how messy my kids' room is!"), doesn't allow him to do anything at all risky ("No, Davy, you're too small for that slide, the last thing I need is to deal with a skinned knee right now!"). Micromanages the kid's social interactions, but with bad results for the kid. When confronted with the bad results, either (A) well you deserved it or (B) you didn't do what I told you right or (C) well you shouldn't feel that way. Never apologizes to child, never admits own failures, does not allow child to express grievences against parent, does not take child's feelings into account at all. These kids will grow up to hate their parents, neither loving nor respecting them, and will often cut contact. Ironically, when these kids "get out on their own" they will often start with MORE confidence/less anxiety, because they were never allowed to try things and overestimate their ability. However, since they were incompetently trained, bad feedback will soon take over and beat them down, and tomake it worse they'll have the parent's voice in their head saying they can't.


Is this AI?
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amother
Denim


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 11:00 pm
I wonder how many people consider themselves Helicopter parents as opposed to attentive.
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amother
Trillium


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 11:06 pm
A lot of people who are neglectful call attentive parents helicopters to assuage their own guilt.
This is pretty common.


Before assuming another parent is helicoptering take a good look and see if perhaps you are neglectful.

Anxiety blossoms when parents are neglectful.
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amother
Ebony


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 11:24 pm
amother OP wrote:
Is this AI?


No,I wrote it after noticing how some people with Helicopter parents thought their parents were good, or at least not bad (they all had types other than Not-Intuned Incompetent), while I thought Helicoptering is the worst possible type of parenting and couldn't understand how anyone could defend it (my mom was Not Intuned, Incompetent). Making the different classifications helped me understand and process.
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amother
Ebony


 

Post Sun, Jun 09 2024, 11:30 pm
amother Denim wrote:
I wonder how many people consider themselves Helicopter parents as opposed to attentive.


The term "helicopter parent" has a negative vibe, so I think a lot of parents would deny it even if they are.
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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 5:02 am
amother Trillium wrote:
A lot of people who are neglectful call attentive parents helicopters to assuage their own guilt.
This is pretty common.


Before assuming another parent is helicoptering take a good look and see if perhaps you are neglectful.

Anxiety blossoms when parents are neglectful.


I haven’t see this play out. Most people fall somewhere in the middle, will sit outside but not hold on to their 4 year old. Not talking about those who don’t even come out I don’t see so many of that type. But then you have those who help their capable 4 year old climb up a 3 step plastic slide because they hover and don’t let their kids explore at an age appropriate level. Why is it helicopter or neglectful? There are so many options in the middle. Why the defensiveness?
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BH Yom Yom




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 5:31 am
amother Ebony wrote:
All Helicopters are NOT equal.

1. Competent vs Incompetent Helicopters
A competent helicopter is like an advanced surgeon, very skilled, overseeing the training of a new resident doctor. The parent teaches the child how to be skilled at something. Unusually, it is purely trade, this is when the parent is literally teaching a career to their child, such as a cowboy/farmer, or a business owner, who intends that the child take over one day. More commonly, it is a socially competent person, who understands how to act in society to achieve one's purposes and be liked, and is teaching these (very useful) skills to the child. Of these parents, you have ones who are emotionally intuned, and ones who are not (imagine a "nice attending doctor" vs a "mean attending doctor"). The children of both will still respect their parents, but the children of the non-emotionally intuned ones will feel a hole where they missed out on typical parental love. When these children "go out on their own", they may experience more anxiety than normal to start with, but since they were competently trained, the anxiety will soon subside because of positive feedback they get from doing things successfully.

2. Incompetent Helicopters - This is almost always parents who are themselves socially incompetent (and usually with social anxiety) but demand that their children do exactly what they say socially, anyway. Some of the parents actually don't realize that they are socially incompetent, others may admit that they themselves aren't good in social situations, but using the child as a shield (starting conversation by publicly criticising or laughing at the child, etc) gives them something to do that takes the negativity off themselves (by putting it on the child instead) so lessens their own social anxiety. There are two kinds of Incompetent Helicopters:
A. Emotionally intuned Incompetent: these ones don't do anything on purpose to hurt the child, admit their own failings, and encourage feedback from the child and take the child's feelings and opinions into consideration. For example, a mom who has a moderate phobia of leaving the house, but she gets therapy, since she's a helicopter she prefers to keep the child with her, but since she's intuned she does what's best for him by often allowing him to leave . She'll often have a lot of unnecessary helicoptery preparations for him to leave the house (overdressing, overpacking, etc). When she pushes herself to go to his graduation, he'll be embarassed that she's literally wringing her hands and obviously on edge, but she'll be able to laugh at herself in this situation. It's not easy for these kids but they will love their parents, they won't exactly respect them though.
B. Emotionally Not-Intuned Helicopters.
This is the mom who won't let her kid go anywhere without her, but sabotages all his social interactions by publicly criticising him often disguised as humor at the kid's expense ("you should see how messy my kids' room is!"), doesn't allow him to do anything at all risky ("No, Davy, you're too small for that slide, the last thing I need is to deal with a skinned knee right now!"). Micromanages the kid's social interactions, but with bad results for the kid. When confronted with the bad results, either (A) well you deserved it or (B) you didn't do what I told you right or (C) well you shouldn't feel that way. Never apologizes to child, never admits own failures, does not allow child to express grievences against parent, does not take child's feelings into account at all. These kids will grow up to hate their parents, neither loving nor respecting them, and will often cut contact. Ironically, when these kids "get out on their own" they will often start with MORE confidence/less anxiety, because they were never allowed to try things and overestimate their ability. However, since they were incompetently trained, bad feedback will soon take over and beat them down, and tomake it worse they'll have the parent's voice in their head saying they can't.


So well-explained!! It really resonates. Thank you for writing this out.
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amother
Springgreen


 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 5:35 am
Abigail Schrier discusses this. She points out, that when researchers want to introduce anxiety into an experiment, what they do is add an observer. Think about it yourself. If your are working on a computer in an office setting and your supervisor comes up behind you, what emotion skyrockets?
It's important to give your children unsupervised play time in an age appropriate manner. 4 year olds should not be outside on their own, but 8 year olds... And you didn't have to hover over 4 year old. Sit on a bench with a fellow mom, and let your child run around the playground set on his own.

When I was growing up, there was a girl in my class who had what we call a helicopter mom. She couldn't go on the bus. Couldn't go to other classmates homes. Got excused from any and every activity she wasn't interested in. Missed a few trips because her mother was uncomfortable with the safety. She intervened when her daughter had issues with both teachers and classmates. As children, we instinctively understood that Mrs M. was unhealthy and we felt bad for our classmate. My sister recently pointed out that today, Mrs M's parenting is not considered or of the norm as much and there are a few mom's in her dd's class that are like that.
This classmate of mine, was very intelligent, talented and surprisingly had an adventurous streak, but she was a nervous wreck. She had great ideas, but couldn't follow through because of fear. I think her anxiety was learned and it wasn't really just her personality. I can see that, because as an adult she seems to be so so different than as a child and teen. She had a sister on the other hand who I think has naturally anxious tenancies, but her mother's helicoptering probably worsened it.
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