What Is a Helicopter Parent? | Psych in 60

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What Is a Helicopter Parent?

Dr. Haim Ginott first referenced this term in 1969 in his book Between Parent and Teenager. He was referring to a statement made by a teen that his mother was hovering like a helicopter.

In the 1990s, the authors of Parenting with Love and Logic, Foster Cline, and Jim Fay, coined the term helicopter parenting.

They used this term to explain a parenting style in which parents hover over and then rescue their children whenever trouble arises.

The term helicopter parent has become so widely used and accepted that it is even in the Oxford Dictionary.

The dictionary defines helicopter parenting as “a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children.”

Wait a minute, you may be saying, isn’t that what parents are supposed to do? How can protecting your child or being interested in your child be associated with such a negative term?

The key words in helicopter parenting are OVER protective and EXCESSIVE interest. It’s an example of good intentions gone awry.

Watch other videos in this Psych in 60 series to learn more about helicopter parenting and leave your questions in the comments below!

Click here for more content by Dr. Terri James!

Dr. Terri James
Terri James has a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies from Cornell University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University. Dr. James specializes in the assessment of children with learning issues and in helping children, school and parents plan appropriately for the child’s success.

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