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The Dangers Of Helicopter Parenting Boys In The Defining Teen Years

While most parents will agree that a hands-on approach to raising kids can be a good thing, they may not really recognize when parental behavior crosses over the line into “helicopter parenting.”  Helicopter parenting, which is defined as extreme over-involvement by parents in a teen’s life, can actually hinder a teen’s normal growth and development.

The danger of helicopter parenting boys in the defining teen years can be detrimental for their ability to become independent, self-confident and able to handle life’s challenges.

Typical Helicopter Parent Behavior

It may be difficult for parents to see the difference in being a caring, involved parent and a helicopter parent. At it’s core, helicopter parenting is the inability for parents to let their son experience any challenges, solve his own problems, engage in conflict and even to fail. Parents like this step in and run interference at every step, handling the struggles and challenges on behalf of the teenage boy. Soon, the teen boy turns to the parents whenever anything uncomfortable or stressful happens, and the parents jump in to minimize the problem.

Examples of helicopter parenting for teens might include:

  1. Arranging the teen’s school schedule

  2. Frequent involvement in homework or projects for school

  3. Micromanaging the teen’s free time

  4. Insisting on heavy involvement in numerous activities

  5. Calling a teacher or the principal about poor grades

  6. Calling a boss about work schedule

Ultimately, helicopter parents don’t trust their teen boys to use good judgment, handle conflict in their own way and learn that making mistakes is just part of life. Helicopter parents feel that they are just loving and protecting their teen boys, but in reality they are inhibiting their ability to learn important life lessons and coping skills.

Negative Results of Helicopter Parenting

In teenage boys, the result of a lifetime of helicopter parenting can result in a number of new challenges that the boys are ill-equipped to handle. There’s no doubt that involved parenting provide clear benefits, to a point. However, when parents are unwilling to allow their teenage boys to experience failure and challenges, the teens are even more likely to experience failure in life because they haven’t learned what they need to once they are independent.

Here are 5 negative results that helicopter parenting can have in teenage boys:

  1. Entitlement: When teen boys are used to having their parents jump in to arrange all aspects of life, they soon come to expect that everything should go their way, all the time. It’s a rude awakening when the rest of the world doesn’t cater to the teenager’s desires and whims.

  2. Poor mental health: Overbearing parenting can result in increased anxiety and depression in teen boys generally because they aren’t able to develop the coping skills they need to handle even the smallest challenges.

  3. Low self-esteem: Teen boys who have never received the opportunities to do things on their own don’t develop any sense of accomplishment or faith in their own abilities to succeed. The constantly receive the message from their parents that they are not smart enough or good enough to make their own decisions.

  4. Poor social skills: Often, teens develop the social skills they need to function in the adult world by navigating life’s challenges, whether at home, school or work. Teens who don’t get the chance to hone their social skills in a variety of settings can suffer over the long term.

  5. Underdeveloped life skills: When parents find it easier to just do tasks that teens should, they rob them of the chance to develop critical life skills, from doing laundry to paying for every expense, parents who take care of everything don’t allow their teen sons to start down the path of adulthood.

It’s important for parents to understand that even though they desire to protect their teen boy from ever experiencing pain, frustration, hurt and even failure, these life lessons are very important in shaping the type of man he will become. Too much helicopter parenting can result in a failure to launch from adolescence to the adult world.

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