Written by Andrew Zhao
Part of the college admissions race is finding opportunities for students. Helicopter parents are parents who overcontrol their kids by making decisions on their kids’ behalf. They can sometimes interfere with their children’s social lives by monitoring their child’s social media and only permitting their child to befriend certain types of students. By interfering in social situations that the child could independently resolve, they prevent the child from making connections and friends without parental assistance.
In a 2014 study, helicopter parenting was linked with depression, general unhappiness in life and a need for guidance. Several questions where a “Yes” response indicated helicopter parenting include: “My mother monitors who I spend time with,” and “If I am having an issue with my roommate, my mother would try to intervene.” These two questions paint a general picture of helicopter parents as over-protecting of their children and unnecessarily monitoring their children’s
conversations and friendships. Consider a student bickering with his peers since they have differing political opinions: this is a common scenario that a student should be able to resolve if he is to preserve his friendships. However, a helicopter parent might intervene by talking to his peers directly about the arguments. Due to the intervention, the child is not only losing an opportunity to develop his social skills, but also becoming de- pendent on his parent to resolve social conflicts. e child thus becomes completely dependent on their parents for social guidance. When the child grows older, he will su er underdeveloped social skills. Monitoring their children is another way helicopter parents make their child more dependent on them. Helicopter parents monitor their children to make sure their life is going on as intended; they may even force their children to delete social media profiles. is way, students lose decision-making skills such as deciding whether a friend is a good influence.
For students dependent on helicopter parents, the best option is to tell their parents that they need independence in their social life. If the parents listen, they will stop meddling in the student’s life. us, students can develop social skills they will need later on in life.