How Not to Be a Helicopter Parent

Helicopter parents hover, intervening in their college-age kids' roommate disputes and making their academic decisions. Are you likely to become one?

You may have heard the term "helicopter parent." More and more colleges and universities are using it. But what exactly does it mean? Helicopter parents hover. They are always on the lookout for threats to their children's success and happiness. If a problem does surface, these parents are ready to swoop in and save the day.

In recent years, colleges have reported that helicopter parents are making their presence felt on campus. They are intervening in roommate disputes, registering their children for classes and questioning professors' grades. The consequences of such behavior have been negative for students, parents and colleges.

How Do You Know If You're a Helicopter Parent?

If the following items describe you, then you're probably overmanaging your child's life:

What Are the Negative Effects of Helicopter Parenting?

Parents may have complex reasons for hovering. No matter what the motive is though, the results of doing so are negative for everyone involved. Harmful effects of helicopter parenting include the following:

How Can You Help Without Hovering?

Of course, it's never too late to plant your feet firmly on the ground. Here are some suggestions to help you distance yourself while fostering independence in your child: