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How to Stop Being a Helicopter Parent

Do you hover over your children, trying to anticipate and fulfill their every need? Do them a favor and learn how to ground yourself.


  • Step 1: Let them feel bad Don't try to fix all their problems. Children need to feel challenged and disappointed once in a while; otherwise, they'll never learn how to handle emergencies or deal with defeats on their own.
  • Step 2: Let them be bored If they complain about being bored, don’t rush in to amuse them. Let them plumb their own imaginations for fun.
  • Step 3: Let them take risks Let them take reasonable risks. Their future will be more fulfilling if they venture outside their comfort zone and take chances.
  • TIP: One study indicates that children who are allowed the freedom to go out on their own to shop and visit friends are more physically active than kids who are more restricted.
  • Step 4: Let them feel safe Warn them about potential dangers and how to avoid them, but don't frighten them unnecessarily.
  • Step 5: Let them fight their own battles Don't constantly run interference for them. Let them learn how to stand up for themselves.
  • Step 6: Let them realize they're imperfect Be complimentary when deserved, but don't overdo it: Children who are led to believe they're perfect find themselves in for a rude awakening when they grow up.
  • FACT: An Italian boy's mother and grandparents were charged with child abuse for being so overprotective that at age 12 he had the motor skills of a toddler.

You Will Need

  • Self-control
  • Safety warnings

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