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Fear and Helicopter Parenting Diminish a Child’s Chance for Success

By: Krystle Crossman

We all want our children to grow up and become successful. Our influence on them can help to determine their success later in life. When children grow up in a household with helicopter parents their chances of being able to be successful leaders in the future is greatly diminished. They grow up lacking problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, and independence. Many parents may not even realize that they are doing this, but when they are hovered over their child all day, every day, they are not allowing the child the freedom to explore their world. This will carry on with them through life and they will be far more hesitant to explore all of the possibilities that life has to offer.

In other countries parenting is lax. They are still wonderful parents but they are nowhere near as fearful as parents in the U.S. are. While we may live in a completely different environment we are still overly fearful of all of the things that could, but rarely do, happen. For example, writer Suzanne Lucas visited Switzerland. She notice that there was a playground filled with children and these children were all playing with saws. She instantly had a pang of fear that one of these children who were ages 3-5, were going to cut themselves or cut someone else with a tool that we generally feel adults should be using. She spoke with the teacher who told her just how low their incident rate was. The teacher said that in 10 years she had not had to call a parent once for an injury. When Lucas enrolled her 3-year-old in the playgroup she was nervous about the freedom that was being given to the children but when they left there had only been one small incident where his finger had been nicked, a bandaid was put on, and it was over. Lucas still had a hard time controlling the fear that we would all feel.

In Switzerland, Lucas observed that the children were given a sense of independence. They would walk to school on their own when they were just in kindergarten. They were taught to figure out how to solve problems, or at least try, before calling for help and letting someone else solve it for them. Here in the U.S. we seem to have quite the opposite scenario. Parents are yelling at teachers because their child is getting bad grades. They fight their children’s battles for them and even do their work for them! What this equates to later in life is poor communication skills and a sense of entitlement. The new generation is growing into a group that feels that they deserve to be rewarded whenever they do something. They think that things will just be handed to them on a silver platter. And if they have a problem they will go run to Mom or Dad who will make it all batter. They do not learn leadership skills. They do not learn communication skills. They will not be able to make it in a leadership roles as they always need a crutch to help them out.

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