15 Signs You Were Raised By Helicopter Parents
Growing and developing into a perfectly functional adult is a process that sometimes is not always the most appropriate. The way your parents raise you often has repercussions on your adulthood. How you feel and how you can respond to certain situations depends on how you learned to respond from the time you were just a child. Although there are different parenting styles and each parent decides to use the most convenient one, there is one in particular that can echo into adulthood and that is the helicopter parents’ style.
Calling them “helicopter parents”, is just the perfect analogy to define an overprotective parent who keeps flying over their child and supervising every single activity it performs. Here is an article help you determine if your parents are helicopter parents: Symptoms of Helicopter Parents.
Helicopter parents tend to be “attentive” to each of their children’s activities and usually get too involved in their tasks, thus preventing the child from developing fully and independently, and in some cases, their behavior results in low self-esteem and low emotional awareness. In fact, a research conducted by Nicole B. Perry, PhD shows that children raised by helicopter parents may be less able to deal with the challenging demands of growing up.
Children react differently to this behavior on the part of their parents. Some become defiant towards their parents, others simply apathetic or very frustrated.
This does not mean that your parents had bad intentions. What helicopter parents are looking for is to keep their little ones away from any threat. The problem is that such concern ends up being obsessive and “unhealthy”, generating in them a neurotic, anxious personality and less open to new ideas. If you think you are a helicopter parents, this article may help you: 15 ways to avoid being a helicopter parent.
Does any of this sound familiar? If the answer is yes, then you were probably raised by helicopter parents and didn’t know it.
But how is it possible to notice this in adulthood? Don’t you know if you were raised by helicopter parents? We will help you identify it, we will leave you 15 signs that you were raised by helicopter parents.
1. You feel “unadult”, if you are raised by helicopter parents.
One of the main problems of the children raised by helicopter parents is that they are adults who sometimes do not feel like adults. They may be between 25 and 30 years old and even have children and still may feel that they are not fully developed adults.
All these parental efforts end up preventing young people from “experiencing life’s defeats”: sadness, anguish, frustration. All words that seem to be out of the lexicon of children of helicopter parents while they are children, but that – as they grow up – end up bursting in their faces, like a bubble that did not endure the harshness that nobody prepared them to face.
2. You find it difficult to take the initiative.
As an adult, independence in decision making is fundamental since your future depends on it. For an adult child of helicopter parents, taking the initiative is usually not an option because as children they were constantly seeking approval from their helicopter parents, and consequently, as adults, they often ask others for advice and suggestions on their decisions and actions.
This difficulty also has repercussions on social interactions (for example, asking people out), work situations (contributing with their own ideas), and personal endeavors (starting a new hobby, trying new things on their own).
3. You have or have suffered from anxiety.
Anxiety is one of the most evident factors: the fact of being highly demanded and constantly being judged in their academic performance leads them to present a more negative image of themselves and generates a permanent concern for the results.
In the case of anxiety, there is a certain amount of natural tension that all human beings must experience. But if in their eagerness to protect, parents have avoided their children from living a situation that could be uncomfortable for them, such as speaking in public, when they become adults, those children will avoid at all costs exposing themselves to such an uncomfortable situation and they will never know how to control their anxiety.
4. Being independent seems more difficult for you than others.
Parents must allow their children to learn to face age-specific challenges, from childhood and learning to walk, to adolescence and adulthood. However, helicopter parents rarely do allow their children to do stuff on their own, let alone assigning them any kind of responsibilities (such as make their beds, cook for themselves, taking out trash, etc).
Adult children with helicopter parents often have trouble performing adult tasks independently. Things like doing their laundry and preparing their meals can be difficult tasks to complete without the help of a parent or someone else to do it for them.
5. You find it hard to keep your own house tidy.
And don’t be surprised if it’s also difficult to keep your workplace tidy. The children of Helicopter Parents are used to having their parents do all the cleaning work. They rarely develop habits of order and cleanliness, more often than not because there never was a necessity (their parents did it for them). They can withstand being in messy, unclean rooms because they lack the habits of keeping a space tidy or expect others to do it for them.
6. You have difficulty climbing the job ladder.
A child of helicopter parents is used to playing it safe, usually sinks into their comfort zone, and at work level, is something that is often noticed by bosses. Sometimes, a child of helicopter parents is even that co-worker who always needs some support to carry out his or her tasks or to perform them efficiently.
Even if they don’t tell you, they might be overlooking you for meaningful tasks or for promotion opportunities, and you’ll always be in the same position.
7. Don’t know how to make friends, if you are raised by helicopter parents.
One of the greatest characteristics of helicopter parents is control over their child’s every move, which includes something as vital as making friends. The ability to relate to other people is seriously affected since they derive in adulthood a feeling of isolation and at the same time, severe difficulty in establishing meaningful relationships with others.
It’s something you can overcome by getting out more and involving yourself in activities that gather groups, to mention an option; however, to achieve it, you must work on it.
8. You are very afraid of failure.
At some point, we can all have that slight tingle when doing something new that can translate into fear of failure. But the children of helicopter parents are constantly thinking that they are going to make a mistake because they grew up in an environment full of over-demands in all areas, especially in academia.
Their parents always demanded good grades and excellent performance, so in adulthood, this can turn into a great professional stagnation for fear of taking risks or doing activities, even when these are out of the person’s skillset or preferences, hoping to get parental approval.
9. Self-esteem problems are the order of the day.
The fact that your parents prevent you from solving tasks on your own may translate into you never learning, being ready, or willing to complete the task. And that may not be the intention, but helicopter parents often eliminate tasks from their children, since they “do it better” because they have the skills and experience to do them.
This will turn the child into an adult who will not be able to trust himself and his abilities which could have repercussions in vital areas for his correct development as a person.
10. You don’t know what you need, if you are raised by helicopter parents.
It can happen that helicopter parents take care of all their children’s needs to the point that they are not able to notice them themselves. This results in adults being unable to detect what they want and sometimes detecting it but not being able to supply it.
This lack of clarity on their needs makes the children of helicopter parents, for instance, people who can avoid going to the doctor for long periods of time, unable to recognize when they should.
11. You have defective handling of your emotions.
Helicopter parents help their children avoid feelings of sadness or failure. After all, they feel it’s best to keep the child from suffering from any inconvenience. But this can deprive the child of learning about how to react to difficulties.
A child raised by helicopter parents may be unable to regulate his emotions or live them in a very intense way, usually from the extremes. Emotional outbursts, rage fits, and long periods of sadness are common in helicopter children, who usually seek emotional support from their parents or other parent figures.
Here is the real voice of a child who was raised by helicopter parents:
12. You trust your parents too much.
Let’s say that this point is not completely wrong, that is, it’s okay to trust your parents. What is not right is to leave over their responsibilities that belong to you as an adult. Even telling them about your plans or things that happen to you to get their approval or input into your decisions is also common, to the point where you can’t take any action without having them give you an “OK” first.
This can be crippling for many aspects of life, but since your parents love it and you find it normal, the behavior continues. This “trust” derives in not only your parents undermining your ability to make decisions on your own, but yourself doing the same.
13. You are looking for overprotective partners.
It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman. A child with helicopter parents is usually looking for partners who can provide the same level of protection and security that mom and dad used to. And this is usually done unconsciously, they don’t realize it; however, the sense of security that the other person provides makes them feel at home.
14. Getting organized is a daunting task.
Your helicopter parents probably organized your life day by day, from going to school to taking music lessons or doing some sport, even your playtime and what recreational activity you would do. This can have severe consequences because having all your tasks scheduled, you never had time to choose something you wanted. As an adult child of helicopter parents,, you will probably face a big challenge when choosing and deciding what to do, let alone how to do it.
15. You avoid crises.
The role of these parents is to get their children out of crises and into safety or to provide supplies to get them back on their feet. Since in adulthood, parents are not always available, children raised by helicopter parents prefer to avoid any decision that puts them in a crisis or a conflict because they will not have mom and dad to get them out of trouble. Children of helicopter parents then become excessively shy, avoidant people.
Most parents, whether they are helicopter parents or not, will always want the best for their children. However, these, in particular, can leave after-effects that in adulthood can complicate helicopter parents’ children’s’ life a bit.
Remember that they do not do it with bad intentions, their main intention will always be to avoid all harm to the child and make him/her happy in the version of what they consider as parents as a happy child. The caveat is that their method is far from adequate.
The pressure from helicopter parents does not end in childhood. Sometimes, helicopter parenting is a much bigger problem. Young people looking for their first job, for example, may have to be accompanied by their parents to job interviews, and even follow up on them or call to tell them what they thought of their child and how they were doing at the interview. The same could happen with doctor’s appointments, asking for a bank loan, or for any event that might require decision making and/or emotional support.
The attitude of these parents prevents children from learning to make decisions, solve problems, get ahold of their emotions, assume responsibilities, and be independent. Becoming emotionally disabled and incapable adults can complicate their future.
The best way to solve it is to work on all those things that can be an echo of situations lived in your childhood.
Given this possibility, the idea is to go to a specialist with whom you can work in therapy those childhood situations that are affecting you today.