"Helicopter parents" could be harming their children - AmericaNowNews.com

What kind of parent are you?

As parents, it's perfectly natural to want to support and protect your child. But watching over a youngster's every move can be detrimental to his or her development and self-esteem.

"Helicopter parents hover," says Dr. Michael McKee of the Cleveland Clinic. "They're super-protective of their kids. It doesn't matter if it's at school; they want to be right there and tell the teacher how to treat their kid right. I've had people call college presidents and say, 'You're not doing right by my kid.'"

Dr. McKee says these types of parents may also be guilty of keeping their children off the playground or practice field for fear they'll get hurt. While they mean well, it's not beneficial for the kids, who don't always learn how to fail on their own.

Kids can also lose out on physical activity and miss the chance to grow up and become independent. Dr. McKee says it can have a lasting effect, even into adulthood.

"You learn that somebody else is always going to step in and intervene for you," says Dr. McKee. "So you don't learn how to cope; you don't learn how to handle crises in your life; you don't learn how to handle difficulties; you always expect Mom and Dad to be there to step in for you. I've had college graduates ask their parents if they'd come to a job interview with them."

Whether they're involved in their older kid's work or younger kid's homework, it's important for Mom and Dad to recognize what they're doing. For those parents who may smother, they should try and reinvent their role by becoming a "traffic helicopter."

According to Dr. McKee, parents should give advice and guidance, but ultimately let a child make his or her own decisions.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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