15 Symptoms of Helicopter Parents

The term “Helicopter Parent” is nothing new; it has been around since the late 1960s. But recently, it has been popping up more and more, especially in the time of COVID-19. Helicopter Parents can have lasting negative effects on their children. You might be thinking, well I need to watch over my children to make sure they do their best. You should look out for your kid, but you can’t hover over them and become a helicopter parent. This post will feature a list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents. But first, let’s look at a couple of those negative effects a helicopter parent can have on their children.

  • Prolonging of childhood or adolescence
  • High anxiety
  • Less open to new ideas
  • Increased dependency on parents or others
  • More vulnerable
  • Increased self-consciousness

These are only a handful of the negative effects helicopter parents have on their children. The list stretches out even longer; these are just the most obvious. As parents, we want our children to succeed and navigate the world on their own. But by becoming helicopter parents, you are actually doing the opposite. The long term effects of helicopter parenting will leave your child more dependent on you and even less prepared to face the real world. A list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents will help you to decide if you yourself are a helicopter parent.

Now you might be asking yourself, am I a helicopter parent? Well, this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents will let you know if you are one. Some of the symptoms are more obvious than others, all of them negatively impact children in some way. Follow this list and learn more about helicopter parents. So, let’s dive into the actual list and learn more.

Keeping your kids too close

The first on the list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents. All this means is that you keep your child on a short leash. You don’t let them out of your sight and follow their every move. It’s understandable as you want to keep your kid safe or make sure they do everything right. But they won’t, you didn’t, and your children won’t either. This is ok, they need to take some time away from their parents, especially if you are a helicopter parent. Back off and let them loose.


Too overprotective

Wrapping your child in bubble wrap so they won’t scrape their knees is ridiculous. That example is extreme, but you should stop yourself and really look at what you are doing. Kids need to get hurt; how else will they learn from their mistakes. Don’t think that they should break their arm; they need to protect themselves and not always rely on you. You have to tell them, they have to learn from you, and then they can protect themselves. This can be hard, and you want to protect them; they are your pride and joy. But reflect on yourself and remember how you were as a child. You had to learn to protect yourself. As a parent, you are your children’s guide through life, not their boss. That is basically what a helicopter parent is, bossy. This can be one of the most damaging symptoms on this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents. Here is an article about Adults Who Were Raised by Helicopter Parents Speak Out


Not letting them fail

Piggybacking off the last symptom, your kids have to fail. The best teacher is failure. A helicopter parent won’t understand this, they want their child to always succeed. If you really want them to make it, they have to learn from their own mistakes. When your child fails, and they will, they can learn. This will actually allow them to become an even greater success. The children of helicopter parents can’t cope with failure, and they will not know how to deal with the stress that comes with it. Watching our kids fail is hard, but they will thank you later down the road. Let them fail and guide them to their next success. Failure can fix many of these symptoms on this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents.

What can we do and encourage us to avoid overprotection? Here are our article about Ways To Avoid Being A Helicopter Parent Today

You fight their battles

Please don’t do this! One of the worst symptoms on the list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents. Kids have to learn to make it on their own. Helicopter parents will do anything to make their children succeed; they may go farther in life, but they are actually hindering their kid’s growth. Ask yourself this: do you fight your own battles? Yes, you do. You are an adult, and your kids must learn to do the same. If your child gets into an argument with another kid and you are calling those other kids’ parents to settle it, you are a helicopter parent. Let them do it on their own, of course, protect them but let them learn. Take a step back and don’t become a helicopter parent.


Doing their schoolwork or work for them

When you were a kid, did you know anyone whose parents did the homework for them? Do you really want to be that parent? This is a no brainer on this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents that indicate you might be a helicopter parent. Your child’s education would work better for them if they did it themselves. You should help if needed, but don’t do it for them. Even as adults doing work for your kids is bad. You are a helicopter parent who refuses to let go. There is a difference between helping them and doing it for them. If you do the work for your kids, then please stop. Plus, teachers can easily tell if you have done the work for your child. Let them do it themselves. Helicopter parents are the worst when it comes to this.


You teach their teacher or coach their coach

Another typical symptom of a helicopter parent, probably the most annoying of the 15 symptoms of helicopter parents. When you start to coach the coach or teach the teacher, that is a glaring symptom of helicopter parenting. Let’s say your kid plays sports, and you are at a game. When you start to yell at the coach or give them advice, that’s when you need to relax. Sports can help your child grow and learn to be independent. If you are helicopter parenting at a game, then you are not letting your child grow. Your child has to learn to deal with conflict, if they can’t deal with this through sports, they won’t be able to deal with it through their own life problems. The same goes for teacher conferences; helicopter parents will start to teach the teacher. You may feel you know what’s best, but you don’t. Unless you are a teacher, then don’t teach the teacher. If you are not a coach, then don’t coach the game. Leave it to the professionals; you raise your kid.


At home, they are king/queen

If your kids are not doing the chores around the house, then you are a helicopter parent. You don’t trust them enough to clean the house the right way, so you want to do it yourself. They need to learn responsibility and basic life skills. By making up their beds or doing their laundry for their entire childhood, you are depriving them of that valuable knowledge. Think back to when you were in college, did you do your own laundry or did you have to have your parents do it for you? Don’t let your child become that college student that can’t do their own laundry, it makes them look helpless and they can feel that way too. Helicopter parents create dependent children; you don’t want to do their laundry for the rest of your life. So teach them responsibility, have them clean the house with you. This is a very easy fix on this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents.

You are scared of letting go

A not so obvious entry on the list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents. Every parent deals with this, but to what extent or degree defines a helicopter parent. If you cant let go of anything and have to hold your child’s hand even into adulthood, then that is one of the 15 symptoms of helicopter parenting. Let them go and learn on their own, don’t tell them how to live their life. Guide them instead; that is the difference between a helicopter parent and a parent. Just let it go.


Never let your kids help you

This one piggybacks off a previous symptom, number 7. One of the best ways a child can learn or grow is to do activities with their parents. Having your kids help you complete tasks will make them feel important. Most helicopter parents don’t allow this as they feel their children can’t do any tasks the right way or your way. This is the main reason why people become helicopter parents. Plus, by doing this, you can learn from your own mistakes and develop a deeper relationship with your child. Take a chance and make a difference in your kid’s life. This is also a not so obvious symptom on this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents.


You are constantly worried about your children

It’s normal to worry about your kids, but if you do this constantly, you might just be exhibiting a helicopter parent’s symptom. A helicopter parent constantly worries about their kid doing everything right and being the best at everything. Here is a news flash for you, they won’t be the best, and they will mess up. Remember this is ok; you did the same growing up. Helicopter parents can’t help but worry constantly; this is not only bad for your child but your health as well. Please don’t lose your hair over your child; it’s not worth it. Don’t feel that worrying about your child automatically makes you a helicopter parent, this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents is just a guide for you.


Answering for your child

Let’s say you have a meeting with a teacher or a doctor. They ask your child questions, and you answer for them. One or two is fine, but if you answer most of them then you show symptoms of being a helicopter parent. Let them take charge and become the adult you want them to be. Hold your tongue. Another annoying symptom on this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents.

​Going behind your kids back

This is a really bad symptom to have on this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents. Constantly going behind your children back and doing things for them really is one of the key components of helicopter parenting. Sometimes you have to do this, but find that middle ground as to not hover over your kids too much.


Snooping around too much

This one ties in with the last symptom of being a helicopter parent. Snooping around and finding out what troubles your kids are getting into is what helicopter parents do best. This is not a good thing. Do it less, let them make mistakes, and learn from them. Don’t let snooping consume your life, this can be a very bad symptom on this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents.


Doing everything for them

Doing everything for your child is a major symptom of helicopter parenting. Your kids should be able to do things on their own. Don’t barge in, they need to learn this important life lesson to be a proper adult. Plus, you can get rid of some work off your plate. Don’t let his symptom get to you, another bad one on this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents.


Taking their experiences away

 By being a helicopter parent, you take your children’s life experiences away. There is a ton they can learn just from doing this all by themselves. When you are a helicopter parent, you take away their experiences, and they never grow. This is is the most detrimental on this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents.

Many of these symptoms of being a helicopter parent go hand in hand. They destroy your child’s ability to learn and grow into a proper adult. Having one or two of these symptoms does not automatically make you a helicopter parent, but it can lead you to become one. Taking a step back and looking at yourself will help determine if you really are one of these parents. The more of these symptoms you exhibit, the more likely that you are a helicopter parent. Don’t fret as there are ways to help counteract this and not become a helicopter parent. The first way is to look through the list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents.

The next way involves some more steps. After reviewing the list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents, then you should do the following: self analyzes yourself, think back to your childhood, put yourself in your child’s shoes, and give them some space. We all need to follow these easy steps to stop helicopter parenting. Sometimes thinking to yourself, how would I feel if my parents did this to me, is really all it takes to stop or slow down helicopter parents. You should be in your child’s life as more of a guide for them not to control them. That is the problem with helicopter parents; they want to control their child’s life. Your kid is not you; they have and need to live their own life. Don’t hover over them for the rest of their lives; it will only make your life harder and create problems for you, kid. Take a step back and let them become the adults they deserve to be. So let’s stop helicopter parenting by following this list of 15 symptoms of helicopter parents.