Are Helicopter Parents Causing Their Children To Become Depressed?

Apparently, helicopter parenting can lead to depression. A recent study conducted by the University of Mary Washington suggests that young adults between the ages of 18-23 who had helicopter parents were more likely to feel depressed. "In an online survey, participants were asked to describe their mothers' parenting behaviors and rate their own perceptions of their autonomy, competence, and how well they get along with other people." According to the Daily Mail, "Helicopter parenting behaviors were linked to higher levels of depression, decreased satisfaction with life and lower levels of perceived autonomy, competence, and ability to get along with people."

I hope that no one is shocked by these findings.  I have always felt that helicopter parents were not helping their children by being so overbearing.  How can these parents expect their children to function in the real world when they try to control every aspect of their lives?  It's really sad when young adults are still dealing with helicopter parents.  I have a friend who teaches law school and she receives phone calls and emails from parents.  WTF?  If your child is in law school, that means that they are at least 22 years old and have finished college.  There is absolutely no reason for a parent to be contacting a law school professor.

Parents need to understand that their involvement and control in their children's lives is supposed to decrease as time passes so that their child can become independent and self sufficient.  When children become more independent and self sufficient, they are able to make decisions for themselves on their own.  This is part of growing up.  Every parent should want their child to feel good about themselves, feel confident and be able to form and foster healthy relationships outside of their family.

I realize that parents have an amazing bond with their children and they want the very best for them.  I feel this way about my own children.  I also, feel extremely proud when I give my children the freedom to make their own decisions and choices and they make the right choices.  How are you ever going to have proud moments when you are making all of the choices and decisions?  If you are constantly telling your child what to do at all times, how will he/she function if God forbid, you are suddenly not around?

Parents please think about how you want your child to be as an adult.  Think about what kind of  job or career you want them to have.  Do you want your child to get married or have children?  Do you want your child to have great self esteem and confidence?  If you want these things for your child, then you need to guide them from varying distances throughout their lives.  You need to give them the space and the freedom to make mistakes and help them learn from them.  Don't smother and control your child to the point where they feel depressed and lack confidence.

Related blogs about helicopter parents:

5 New Year's Resolutions for Helicopter and Unparenting Parents

Were the Olympians' Parents Helicopter Parents?

Are You Micro-Parenting Your Child?


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Filed under: Parenting

Tags: Helicopter Parents

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