These are the Helicopter “Reddit Parenting”

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Written By NewtonPatterson

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Reddit Parenting: What are Adults Like?

Each generation of parents is subject to tongue-clucking about their parenting style. Free range parenting was the norm in the 1970s and 1980s. This led to a generation known as “latchkey children” who cooked their own meals and were unsupervised until late at night. Gen X parents were accused in the 1990s of turning 180 and becoming helicopter parents. They were seen as overbearing and hovering over their children to the point where they could compromise their independence. What do children of helicopter parents grow up to become? This was the question that was asked in a Reddit Parenting thread that attracted over 2K comments.

Helicopter Reddit Parenting experiences with raising children

Commenter pt3 cod4 ctyl said that she felt like an “honestly just anxious mess” after being raised by helicopter parents. She said, “Every job that I have had, I’m always afraid that I will make a mistake and disappoint.” It can be paralysing.

Redditor Foxjoon shared a similar sentiment and described themselves as “Anxious.” Suffocated. These unrealistic expectations are shared by helicopter parents, but they refuse to accept the fact that their children have become adults.

Flippantcedar shared their personal experiences and how they have influenced their parenting style. She wrote, “My mom is the original helicopter parent.” Adulthood was difficult. I had zero real life skills. Now, I am 40 years old and have my own children. I’m a much more relaxed parent than my mom or my husband. I tend to lean more towards the ‘benign neglect’ end of the parenting spectrum. For years, I harboured a lot of resentment toward my mom for not teaching me and for saving me all the time. I love my children like crazy, so I let them make mistakes and learn from them. My children are far more capable as children than I was as an adult. They are able to save money, cook and clean, and they have many other skills that make them a real person.

Helicopter Parents’ Kids: What Do Others Think?

People who have been raised by helicopter parents made some observations. Reuse This Name noted, “There were unfortunately many helicopter Reddit Parenting where I went to school. They ended up going to college far away. They revelled in their freedom and drank their way to mediocre grades. Some were forced to return home to be subject to their helicopter parenting parents.

A former spouse wrote under the handle BeowulfasaurusRex that his ex-spouse had an overly caring mother. He was unable to handle any crisis management, troubleshooting, or handling of his own. He trusted only her advice. He refused to do something I suggested. He agreed to do the same. He was unable to find the motivation to work harder, be more successful, and get a better job. Because his mom took care of him financially. Because he had never been able to show himself that he could do anything, he had no faith in his talents or abilities.

Stoic_Scientist shared the following comments.

The Takeaway Reddit Parenting

Anyone who fears they might be a helicopter Reddit Parenting is sure to find this thread worrying. Redditor BodySnag identified himself as a parent, and stated that they found the comments “depressing.” They then shared what they considered to be “the best parenting advice” ever. They wrote that they had heard the advice from their parents early on, and it was their job as parents to slowly get out of the way.

Redditor BodySnag explained that while they love and care for their children, they also pride themselves on the fact that their children can take care of themselves. “At nine and eleven, they can cook their meals (when necessary), wash their clothes, and go to the park (it’s only one block away),” BodySnag continued. They can also meet adults and look them in their eyes and shake hands. They will order food for themselves at restaurants. They are included in all major family decisions. They are heard and respected. They are free to make mistakes, and they do. It’s tough. It’s brutal. Every time they ride their bikes down the driveway, I worry like hell. We’ve trained them. They are wearing helmets and they know the rules. I’m here to support them. They are my children. Although I would love for my children to be mine forever, that’s not what pets are for. Not children. It is your responsibility to slowly get out of the picture. It’s not love, it’s brutalism.

It’s easy to make generalisations about someone who was raised by helicopter Reddit Parenting, but one Redditor said that it’s difficult to paint a broad picture of the subject. Sjb1985 wrote, “It depends on the child.” A child who is very independent will likely rebel. Dependent children might thrive to a certain extent. All types of children react differently, I have seen. Some kids do well and others don’t.”

The experiences shared here echo research from University of Mary Washington which found that over-parenting can lead to higher levels of anxiety and depression in children. These conversations will hopefully inspire parents who raised their children by helicopter parents to be more responsible and to think about how their parenting style might impact their child’s future.