Hovering is Bad for Kids and Marriages

Helicopter Parents: Parents who “hover” over their kids, micro managing and being overprotective.


A great deal has been written about helicopter parenting in the last decade or so, most of it negative. A new study* says it’s detrimental even when parents are loving. The study authors actually thought there would be some positive effects in some situations, so they were looking for these, not looking to slam helicopter parenting in general.

I’ve seen parents who do this. Most of them are mothers, and I’ve never seen a man married to the children’s mother doing this if his wife is not. Your mileage will vary, but studies seem to back me up. Helicopter dads tend to be more narrowly focused (sports, school performance, or future education and job) while helicopter moms usually dominate every area of their children’s lives.

My reason for bringing this up is the fact helicoptering is also hard on marriages. Many don’t survive, falling apart when the kids leave home, if not sooner. Those that survive are often crippled and hollow. I’ve heard moms justify doing this to their marriage and husband by saying they want the best for their kids. With a growing body of studies showing over-involved parenting is bad for kids, this justification is clearly false. 

First, I suggest you take a long hard look at your mothering. Are you helicoptering? What about your husband, is he doing it? For the sake of the kids and your marriage, please pray and discuss this with your hubby. Do whatever it takes to produce healthy kids whose parents will still be in love after they are grown.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and given the world we live in I understand the temptation to be overprotective.

* This is not the original study, but it’s a good write up: It’s time for helicopter parents to land and stay grounded | ScienceDaily 
Also see Helicopter parenting is increasingly correlated with college-age depression and anxiety | Slate

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