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The Bad News About Helicopter Parenting: It Works

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,792 Senior Member
"New research shows that hyper-involved parenting is the route to kids’ success in today’s unequal world.

... It’s a familiar story. Psychologists, sociologists and journalists have spent more than a decade diagnosing and critiquing the habits of “helicopter parents” and their school obsessions. They insist that hyper-parenting backfires — creating a generation of stressed-out kids who can’t function alone. Parents themselves alternate between feeling guilty, panicked and ridiculous.

But new research shows that in our unequal era, this kind of parenting is essential." ...



Replies to: The Bad News About Helicopter Parenting: It Works

  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,881 Senior Member
    This article shares the findings of a study conducted by two researchers--one from Northwestern University & the other from Yale University. I wonder what their parents were like.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,881 Senior Member
    edited February 7
    @momofsenior1 : Usually I agree with your posts, but our definition of helicopter parenting differs. I have never known, or, at least, never been aware of a parent who does a child's homework or argues with teachers. But, because our child attended Catholic school & then a prep boarding school, such behavior would have resulted in expulsion.

    Public school would have been a poor choice for our son. He needed more academically and benefitted from a strictly enforced set of rules.

    For example, bragging about a good grade was forbidden at the K-8 parochial school. The only time our son got in trouble was when another student asked him what grade he received on a test. When he replied loud enough for others to hear, he was sent to the principal's office. He never made that mistake again.
  • AcersaccharumAcersaccharum Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    @Publisher Wouldn’t it be nice if your public schools offered enough academically and also enforced the rules?

    I’ve seen a number of parents pull their kids out of our public system when things got “tough” in late elementary or middle school. I understood their concerns, but lamented the fact that involved parents were leaving the system. These are exactly the people who can help create a more rigorous and responsible school.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,881 Senior Member
    My son entered public school in Kindergarten. The school was brand new. I am not going to share any more other than to say that that was his only year in public school.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,139 Senior Member
    @Publisher - In middle school science olympiad the two boys who won first place for their build event, high fived each other and then very loudly announced that their dads were going to be so excited. We were right behind them walking out and they told a friend that the dads built it themselves because the kids were at sports practice. The public school that they attended was widely known in our area for having parents do all the build events with little to no involvement from their kids. It was ridiculous but pervasive.

    Arguing with teachers and admins was also common in our dd's catholic HS. You were lucky to not have experienced that. One parent went off the rails during back to school night because of the length of a writing assignment and the "undo stress it caused his daughter." Again, not an isolated incident.

    We pulled our daughter out of public school because of lack of rigor as well. AP/honors courses were always the first to get cut when budgets weren't passed and the HS was down to barebones offerings when my daughter was in middle school. The district lost hundreds of students within a few year period. They ended up bringing back the courses but it was too late for DD.
  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang Registered User Posts: 17,753 Senior Member
    From the other side: I should have done more helicoptering. A lot more. Now I am helicoptering as much as possible.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,404 Senior Member
    edited February 7
    Actually only the author of this opinion piece said the word "helicopter". And drew some weird conclusions along the way.

    The two research authors offered different words for parenting styles one being "authoritative" to mean parenting that does a lot of guidance to create a self-reliant kid and "authoritarian" which meant creating a rule-follower. Neither of which has anything to do with being a helicopter parent.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,881 Senior Member
    I believe that the authors could have used the word "guidance" instead of "authoritative".
  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 372 Member
    @Publisher The term "authoritative" is often used by psychologists and child development specialists. There's a diagram with four quadrants: permissive, authoritarian, authoritative, and neglectful (or something like that--I think the fourth term changes a bit from chart to chart, but the others are pretty set).
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,770 Senior Member
    It's really hard to make anything of this article unless one goes straight to the book written by two research authors. I just heard of this book, so I haven't. This opinion piece is unfortunately written poorly, i.e., unclear in making points. For example, what works, as in the title, "It Works"? Because the book was written by two economists, I'd assume that whatever "works" is from the jobs perspective? What about personal and social perspectives? The opinion author did point out those conflicting studies from psychologists, sociologists and journalists but quickly swept those aside and went straight to "this new study says it now works" without any care to explain the conflicting -- "it" doesn't work vs. "it works" -- shift in the way we look and understand the so-called helicopter parenting. My own guess is that there really isn't a conflict at all. The helicopter parenting can, after all, produce different effects in different realms, i.e., it may "work" from economical standpoint but it may not from psychological and social standpoint.
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