The Overparenting Epidemic

Written by Anju Gupta, Headmistress, Ahlcon International School, Delhi

Home assignments and different projects given to learners at their schools have been a source of debate in the modern world. With both the parents working, either there’s an opposition to this system due to lack of time with parents or they get the projects made by professionals so that their wards score good grades, better than the peers.

This gives rise to a very important question. What kind of parents are we? Are we anxious parents? The unfounded fear of one’s child being left behind in the rat race of marks makes us ‘Hovering Parents’. Most parents feel that their parenting is incomplete until they help their child at each stage, which actually results in spoon-feeding. The general perception of parents about the tough competition that their children will face at the time of admission in good school, college or job makes them work harder with their children. Exploiting this unfounded fear, the private coaching centres offer coaching classes, structured sports activities and different technology tools for better learning, starting with learners of class VIII only. And parents are more than ready to spend a fortune to give an extra edge to their children.

But, do you know what havoc is created with a child’s personality by such ‘Toxic Parents?’

Helicopter parenting will not go a long way with children and they are bound to fail at one stage of their life or other. Researches have proved that children need to develop grit and curiosity along with a growth mindset for long term success, and such parents prevent these traits from developing. Grit helps children face the challenges head-on and not give up in life till they succeed. The only way to develop this attitude is to let them face their challenges themselves and find their solutions. But toxic parents try their best to shield their children from challenges up to the extent of making their school projects, doing their home assignments so that everything looks perfect instead of letting their children do as per their capacity. Such learners who have never known failure can be greatly affected during an inevitable hardship. It’s rightly said, “Instead of helicoptering our kids, we should be strapping parachutes on their backs made out of things like common sense, kindness, courage, values and other life skills. Then we should teach them how to jump”.

Helicopter parenting will not go a long way with children and they are bound to fail at one stage of their life or other. Researches have proved that children need to develop grit and curiosity along with a growth mindset for long term success

 

The education sector is constantly evolving worldwide with the explosion of technology and has become highly competitive. Our students must have a hunger for value-based knowledge which will help them survive in today’s world. Only those with curiosity, will develop a love for learning that allows them to pick up new capabilities and adapt well in a changed educational environment; and this will help them to appreciate global problems. Helicopter parents limit their ward’s capabilities by discouraging them to explore new ideas outside the school curriculum and forcing them to spend entire available time in the pursuit of high marks in academics. Such children who score marks due to rote learning are prone to taking orders and instructions and hence lack creativity and independent thinking. Roald Dahl famously said, “The more risks you allow your children to take, the better they learn to take care of themselves”.

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Developing a growth mindset in a child will build his/her confidence and is much better than fixed mindset. When we cap the capabilities and confidence of our children, their growth is hampered. When a child is introvert, parents with fixed mindset will announce about the shy nature of their child to the whole world, whereas, parents with growth mindset will try to develop personal capabilities of their child through focused hard work. Helicopter parenting often develops higher levels of anxiety, poor coping skills and depressing attitude among children. If you are one of these kinds of parents, beware!

Always remember these words of American columnist Ann Landers, “It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, will make them successful human beings”.

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed above are that of the author and do not reflect the views of the website. The Peeper Times does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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