Site Loader
Rock Street, San Francisco

Many parents have the best intentions when raising a child. More often than not, parental involvement is seen as beneficial for child outcomes. However, research suggests that intense and intrusive styles of parenting are detrimental to said outcomes. There is a reason for the mental health predicament that psychologists are seeing on college campuses – where successful students are miserable because they cannot cope with normal life challenges. There is a reason why psychologists are seeing a record number of students who are depressed and don’t know why, because they claim they had ideal childhoods, their parents were their “biggest fans”, and they never experienced anything more than superficial disappointment. Blogger Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis exclaims that “while love is irrefutably the most important gift to give our kids, true love wants what’s best for a person long-term” (Kampakis, 2016).  This “true love” that Kampakis is referencing resides in parents setting up their child to not need them. Most parents have 18 years to equip their child with the tools to be functional adults; 18 years to “prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.”
Over the past decade, a phenomenon known as helicopter parenting has received considerable attention. Helicopter parenting is a term used to describe the growing number of parents – obsessed with their children’s success and safety – who vigilantly hover over them, sheltering them from mistakes, disappointment, and/or risks (Vinson, 2013). Negative developmental outcomes associated with this style of parenting include a reduced maturation and decreased self confidence, higher levels of child anxiety and depression, damaged autonomy coupled with underdeveloped coping skills, and decreased social competence (Schiffrin et al., 2014; Segrin et al., 2013a; Segrin, Woszidlo, Givertz & Montgomery, 2013b). This directed parental regard can restrict the experiences of children, as the outcomes undermine self-efficacy and the ability for one to survive on their own (Schiffrin, Liss, Miles­McLean, Geary, Erchull & Tasher, 2013; Segrin et al., 2013a). Coupled with the inability to experience failure, these missed opportunities make children less able to solve their own problems, be autonomous, develop in-depth relationships, and cope independently (Schiffrin et al., 2014). 
According to Hara Estroff Marano and her article “A Nation of Wimps,” these shortcomings are largely due to the fact that we live in an age where we overindulge children. Parents concentrate too much on creating “magical memories” and removing obstacles to keep their kids happy. As a result, they often fail to cultivate qualities like character, perseverance, patience, and the determination to be successful adults (Marano, 2009). Maladaptive behaviors displayed by the parent, such as completing tasks for the child, can lead to a diminished sense of competence combined with shame and guilt. This can happen when a child fails at mastering certain tasks, or is unable to do them at all. The result is a lack of academic and personal coping skills, and when combined with frustration the child can foster resentment towards the parent. Subsequently, the child produces a psychological decrease in life satisfaction, self esteem, and an increase in anxiety (Shiffrin et al., 2013; Segrin et al., 2013b). 
Parents who fail to modulate their behavior in context with the development of the child will find that they become over involved, reject the notion of failure in their child, and can damage the healthy parent­-child relationship that they are attempting to nurture (Schiffrin et al., 2014; Segrin et al., 2013b). When a parent makes all the decisions on behalf of the child, this can undermine the autonomy and self direction for that child as their ability to meet and experience the developmental milestones needed for optimum development is hindered (Segrin, Woszidlo, Givertz, Bauer & Murphy, 2012). This may affect the child’s relatedness and ability to form peer attachments, which can decrease their social competence and confidence (Shiffrin et al., 2014; LeMoyne & Buchanan, 2011). Internalizing these issues may then lead to anxiety and depression (Ingen et al., 2013).

Post Author: admin


I'm Dora!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out