August’s Parenting Tip: What is Helicopter Parenting?

Jul 27, 2021

Do find yourself taking too much responsibility for your children’s successes or failures? If so, you could be a helicopter parent.

According to Beverly Anderson, executive director for Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in downtown Milwaukee, Oak Creek and on the West Allis/Wauwatosa border, “Helicopter parents take it upon themselves to micromanage their children’s lives.”

Examples of this could be constantly controlling the play of your three-year-old and seldom giving your children the opportunity to be creative on their own; choosing your school-age child’s friends, teachers, coaches, and activities; or constantly picking up after your teenagers, checking their grades, and trying to fix their failures.

Anderson says, “Children need plenty of guidance, love and acceptance from their parents to build their self-esteem. However, there is a fine line when it comes to becoming too involved or too controlling in your children’s lives. And, while helicopter parents may have the best intentions, the reality is that their behaviors could negatively impact their children’s future success in life.”

“It’s only natural for parents to want to help their children,” adds Anderson. “However, parents need to remember that their most important job is to teach their children to become responsible, independent, thriving young adults who are capable of making good decisions on their own.”

A helicopter parent’s actions can lead children to believe that they aren’t capable of making decisions without their parent’s input. It can also prevent children from learning the coping skills they need to deal with life’s disappointments and add to children’s anxiety levels. This can, in turn, prevent them from learning important life skills and create a sense of entitlement.

“If you find yourself hovering, you need to remind yourself of these potential negative long-term effects,” says Anderson. “Then step back and let your children learn from their successes and failures.”

Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.

Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers free Parenting Talks and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.

The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, Oak Creek and on the West Allis/Wauwatosa border. The agency’s main office is located at 1138 S. 108th Street, West Allis. For more information, please call 414-643-5070 or visit the agency’s website at