Helicopter Parents Sign

I was pleased to contribute an article to this month’s issue of The Sober World magazine. See an excerpt below.

In the 1969 best-selling book titled “Between Parent and Teenager”, Dr. Hiam Ginott coined the term helicopter parent when he was describing a teen complaining that his “mother hovers over me like a helicopter.” Since that fateful day, scholars and the popular press have made the noun a common term used in our lexicon. The hit TV show Portlandia has even immortalized helicopter parents with a clip that has garnered over 200,000 hits on YouTube. See the clip below.

It’s important to note that nobody sets out to be overly involved in their child’s life or to create a young adult that is incapable of launching him or herself into the world. Culture, norms, and mores play a large role. Parents, rather, start out wanting a better life for their offspring. In their zeal to be helpful and protective, they overly insert themselves into their children’s lives, scheduling play dates and activities, doing homework, making their beds, cleaning their rooms, choosing which courses they take, and bailing them out with money.