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Helicopter parents are defined as parents who take an overprotective or excessive interest in the lives of their children. In the modern world, helicopter parents have become more and more ubiquitous because of the increased pressures from society and schools to be as perfect as possible. Are the growing pressures from helicopters parents benefiting the next generation or creating a youth that struggles for independence from those trying to help?
Helicopters parents were put into the spotlight in 2011 when Amy Chua wrote the memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” The narrative consisted of the rules and regulation she put upon the lives of her daughters’. Chua defended herself by saying that she followed Chinese customs and believes she did what was best for the success of her daughters’. This trend has become more accepted since the release of the book because of the extreme expectations and work needed to get into many colleges. Though Americans parents have not adopted all aspects of the “Tiger Parent”, the desire for getting their children into a good college has persuaded many. Based off of a study conducted at Queens College of the City of New York, though both Chinese and Americans students scored about the same on standardized tests, the Chinese work ethic put into each assignment made them much more likely to succeed.
What’s wrong with a push for success that has been proven to work? Recent reports have shown that the stress from parents can lead to psychological issues such as depression and other behavioral problems. Also, the consistent pressures from parents can lead to a desire for children to rebel and lie. In my life, I’ve seen many students more worried about what their parents will think about a grade than themselves. Often times they come to the conclusion to lie and try to fix it themselves instead of asking for help in fear of getting in trouble. Parental pressure seems to be less effective because it corners kids between their school and their home, giving them no place for rest. They seem scared to ask for help and are expected to know it all. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 16% of students have considered suicide and 8% have attempted to do so. These numbers are not all attributed to parental pressure, but it is safe to assume that most were in relation to school.
Kids need to be free. Teaching them the importance of commitment to obligations such as school is necessary, but the health of our youth must come first. Parents have become so engulfed with worrying about college and the future of their children that they may not see the struggles their kids are facing today. Conditioning your kid for success isn’t the same as watching them build it.