New research shows that helicopter parents can up their kids’ risk of emotional issues later in life. Scientists have found that children and teens who had over-controlling parents as toddlers have a hard time in controlling their impulses and emotions.
Helicopter parenting is also tied to more problems in school for children.
Researchers focused on a group of toddlers and their mothers for eight years. Scientists paid attention to how controlling the mothers were with the toddlers. A controlling behavior included the parent dominating the kid’s playtime and telling him what to do.
Co-author Dr. Nicole Perry noted that the so-called helicopter parents are well-intentioned, but instead of helping their children, they can inflict irreparable harm in the long run. Dr. Perry recommends parents to allow kids to express their emotions and give them space to grow and be independent. If a task is too great, parents can intervene.
The study appeared in the journal Developmental Psychology.
Helicopter Parenting Can Lead to Emotional Issues in Kids
Researchers tracked 422 kids for eight years for the study. When the children were aged two, scientists asked their mothers to bring them into a laboratory and let them play for four minutes. Each session was videotaped, and scientists were able to assess the mothers’ level of control.
When the children were aged five, they were placed in a setting where a pile of sweets was shared unfairly. Also, they were asked to solve a puzzle until the time runs out. Meanwhile, researchers asked teachers to rate those children’s loneliness, anxiety, depression levels, academic performance, and social skills at age 5 and 10.
At age 10, most children with controlling mothers had a lower impulse control and more emotional issues than children not exposed to helicopter parenting since the early age. Also, children with over-controlling mothers had lower grades and poorer attitude in class than the other children.
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