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Pandemic and Lockdowns May Trigger Helicopter Parenting in Many Homes– Warns Psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo

The current pandemic and its lockdowns have changed family routines like never before. Parents who could hardly catch up with their kid in past, are now staying 24×7 at home. For the kids, there is no more going to schools, day-care, and coaching centers. This sudden change has offered many families to rediscover their family bonds and at the same time, this change is also creating some new difficulties – and one such problem is the “emergence of helicopter parenting”.

Helicopter parenting is a term used to describe a kind of over-parenting. It involves excessive levels of involvement and control by parents in their children’s lives. A motivation for this parenting style is driven by the parents’ worry that their child might come to harm or not flourish. Earlier helicopter parenting was limited to single working parents’ situations, but now a large number of parents are doing work from home and hence getting all the time to interact, focus, and worry for the kids.

No doubt, parental involvement in a child’s life is extremely beneficial, but only if it is developmentally appropriate. A child needs to experience failure and she/he should learn from their mistakes through trial and error. Unfortunately, the over-involvement of parents can limit the children’s ability to engage in this opportunity, and research suggests that helicopter parenting can even stunt a child’s cognitive and emotional development.

In this article, Psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares some of the warning signs of helicopter parenting:

1.       Your child has completed his/her school assignment but you are rewriting assignment at 12 midnight because you know that it could have been done better.

2.       Your child should be helping you in daily chores – cleaning floor, washing clothes and dishes in the absence of your maid, never comes to you.

3.       You get heart palpitations at the thought of letting your child go and talk and chat over online platforms. Even though it was the case earlier also, but since, you are spending all the time at home, as a result, you are becoming more bothered of the same.

4.       In an online PTM when the teacher asks your child the question, you answer them.

5.       While playing indoor games if there is a point of decision making for your child, he/she looked puzzled and searches for you to make the decision.