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Understanding helicopter parenting and how to deal with it

Ever wondered why your parents call you up so often to check on you? Here’s why you will always be a kid to your parents.

sex and relationships Updated: May 18, 2019 15:02 IST
Collin Rodrigues
Collin Rodrigues
Hindustan Times, Delhi
helicopter parenting,helicopter parenting issues,parenting
Here’s why you will always be a kid to your parents.(Unsplash)

Probably for many of us, it is always a nervous moment when the phone flashes with your father’s or mother’s call. And most of the time, it is always when you are out with your friends. We’ve all been through times, when our parents used to keep constant tabs on our whereabouts. Many of us either answer the call or some just choose to ignore it. Here, experts help us get into the minds of our parents and understand their part of the story.

General worrying

Most parents are generally worried about their children, wondering whether they would be able to fend for themselves. Dr Aman Bhonsle, psychosocial analyst and relationship counsellor, says, “Parents feel like the well-being of their kids is dependent on the good advice and counsel that they give. General parental worries coupled with extreme parental anxieties can sometimes lead to parents always wanting to keep tab and try to understand what the child is up to.”

How to deal with it: Children need to understand that parents worry because of their affection and love. It is also the responsibility of the child to keep their parents posted via texts or calls.


Often, parents feel obsolete in the life of their children as the child grows up and show signs of independence. They may feel they no longer have an active role in managing their schedule, social life, mindset, academics and the emotional state of their child. Bhonsle says, “They may get extremely uncomfortable with the fact that they no longer have a key role to play. So, sometimes, parents tend to get insecure and this can be a serious problem for parents after a point of time.”

How to deal with it: Talk to your parents and discuss their fears. Come to an understanding that pleases both.

Parenting history

It is often understood that many people take parenting tips based on their own upbringing. Maya Kirpalani, consultant psychologist and family therapist, Bhatia Hospital, says, “Some people may have had strict parents. So, because of their own experiences in their childhood or teenage years, they may act the same way with their own children.”

How to deal with it: If your parents are strict, reassure them about your activities such as being in safe company and introduce your friends to your parents. Give them phone numbers and locations of places you visit.

Need for perfection

At times, parents want to be assured and want to understand the fact that they are responsible enough and are taking parenting the right way. Bhonsle says, “Just like how professionally one would want to perform as per the expectations of their boss, similarly, parents want to feel that they know their job well and are taking good care of their kids. This is more about feeling capable and competent as parents.”

How to deal with it: Communicate your thoughts clearly. In the beginning, decide a time in the day where you can give them updates of your whole day schedule.

Social factors

Parents may feel that their children are not socially mature or that they lack social skills. Kavita Mungi, mental health counsellor, says, “The external environment in a child’s life today is very unstable with a whole set of concerns arising from social media and other mediums. The social pressure and acceptance of the same can be at conflict with parenting.”

How to deal with it: Reassure your parents and take them into confidence that you are not doing anything bad and you can make right decisions, too. Give them examples of what you have done in the past to gain their trust.

Controlling nature

Some parents are overprotective and want to be in control of their child’s every step forward. Kirpalani says, “Sometimes, this whole situation becomes a vicious cycle, especially in cases of adolescent children. This increases parents’ anxiety. Children, on the other hand, may think they will get mocked by their friends if they are called too often by their parents. So, they may stop taking calls or sometimes give out false information about their whereabouts.”

How to deal with it: Get into a daily discussions with your parents so that they feel that you are involved in their activities too and try to make the home more harmonious and friendly in nature. Do not rebel too much when they have certain right things or direction to give you.

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First Published: May 18, 2019 15:01 IST