Researchers have found however that it merely makes children miserable and unable to grow up.
Researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah found that sons and daughters of of these so-called “helicopter parents” (i.e. always hovering) had lower self-worth than average and were more likely to indulge in risky behaviour such as binge drinking.
These effects were worsened if parents show a lack of warmth.
Children suffered a clear negative effect when parents were too involved in their lives, e.g. making decisions on their behalf and intervening in any conflicts rather than letting the children work it out for themselves. This parental control was actually blocking the children’s development.
The researchers published their research in the journal Emerging Adulthood and said “From our past work, we thought there might be something positive about helicopter parenting, but were just not finding it“.
The researchers aren’t suggesting that parents remove themselves completely from their children’s lives because they still need parental support. However there is a balance to be struck.
I have come across several examples of what I call “over-parenting” where parents are involved in supporting their children into adult life when in some cases they don’t need to.