I am on my way home. I call my friend for a quick coffee. His father answers the phone and says he cannot come over now as it will be dinner time soon and if he has coffee now, he won’t have dinner properly. FAIR. I recede.

Just a little weird as we both are in our FORTIES!

He is a senior management staff in a finance enterprise. Owns a car(but cannot drive) and two houses (bought with his money but not in his name). Also not married and has no children – not that he didn’t find a soulmate, but because his Father did not ‘approve’ of any match!


The poor soul cannot make his own decisions, not as big as getting married to a woman of his choice. Not even as small as learning to drive a car or ride a 2-wheeler. He is not allowed to make decisions in his life. All of them taken on his behalf, by his father!

Welcome to Helicopter Parenting!

Helicopter parents are those who control their kids’ activities with an iron hand. They control every aspect of their kids’ lives. Probably to protect them from pain/disappointment or in the hope to push them to succeed. Their careers, personal lives, choice of friends, social activities they should/shouldn’t get involved in – everything is ‘decided’ by such a Parent. 

It is like having a Helicopter hovering over your head all day long. Hence the name. Is it good or is it bad then?

Maybe good !!! ???

You have ‘support’ for EVERYTHING. All your work is done by someone else. Even the thinking! Imagine, all you have to do in a day is just laze around. You (probably) have to work enough (read earn enough) to just get by. Everything is ready-made for you and served on a platter. You don’t even have to think (or prepare) what you are wearing to work tomorrow! It is all decided, washed, ironed, and ready for you. Food packed. Bag ready. Shoes shined. All Ready to go. Have you got an event coming up? No problem; all the planning, organizing, and execution is all done. All you got to do is be physically present at the venue. Just be the ‘face’ in the forefront. Everything else is done and dusted. You have a problem with your friend, this parent even fights that battle for you. You don’t have to move a muscle. Just like the Princes and the Kings of olden times. Just walk into your ‘Darbar’!

Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Ummmmm………

The flip side though.

You cannot make a single decision in your life without consulting this Parent! Not even choosing your friends, your clothes, not even your hairstyle. Your entire life is (apparently) devoid of any problems. No challenges. And therefore, no problem-solving skills too. No people skills. No management skills. No social skills.

To understand this better, let’s go back to our Man. 

This person is so over-protected, that he has no life skills. He cannot drive(coz his father thinks, he can meet with an accident), cannot cook (coz food is ready for him always), cannot file his taxes (his Father does it for him), and doesn’t have the faintest idea how inflation works (are you kidding me?) He doesn’t even know how much he saves in a month (his father manages his money)…….knowing how inflation affects his savings is a LOOOOOOOOOONNNGG SHOT. 

He even seeks his father’s approval to go for an outing with his friends. Once I happened to ask him if he wore the shirt I gifted him on his birthday. He replied he will have to ask his father if he wore the shirt (coz he doesn’t even have to remember that, his father does the ‘remembering’ for him!) Cannot get married to the love of his life, as his father wants ‘a fair-skinned daughter-in-law (pretty cheeky I tell you)!

Look, I get it. As a parent, you want to shield your child from the evil forces of the world. But this? Protecting your child is one thing, over-protection is toxic, but this level of Helicopter parenting is downright Criminal!! You are robbing a person of his right to freedom.

In my belief, every human being was born to be different. Unique. Every person has qualities the other does not. By forcing your beliefs onto him, you are snatching away his right to be unique. To be Human. We experience different things and that makes us so unique in our ways. But what happens if you have not experienced anything in life at all? No experience = No personality. 

In a bid to protect your child (or any loved one) from pain and disappointment, you are denying them the opportunity to fail as a human. To face that failure, to build resilience, overcome that, and in the bargain, Grow emotionally. You have denied them the opportunity to develop people skills, to experience and tell the difference between good and bad company. To choose the right people around him/her. To even basic etiquettes of knowing when to talk, when to stop, what to fight for and what to accept undisputedly. By making all the decisions in your child’s life you are taking away his power of ‘Thinking’. Your child cannot think on his own, let alone know how to dress well and talk well. 

The worst part of this all is for you to think about what happens to your child after you are gone? Your child gets to be the most dysfunctional personality around. With no idea how to cook, clean, drive, take decisions or stand by their decisions. In the attempt to protect him from the bad, you have made him worse. You have set him up for a PERSONAL APOCALYPSE!

There is nothing you can do for them after you are gone. So act now, change now, and let the child be. Let them make mistakes, let them fall. I know it hurts like hell to see your child in pain, but understand that they need to undergo this to emerge victorious on the other side. Remember the caterpillar? It needs to go through the cruel process of tearing out of its skin to emerge as a beautiful butterfly! 

That’s how they learn to pick up after a failure. How to rise after a fall. Learn from the hurt and pick up the pieces of life. Your role as a parent is not to ensure the absence of pain……but to teach them to SMILE,COPE AND LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES, DESPITE the Pain!

One thought on “Helicopter

  1. While I agree with you that helicopter parenting is not exactly a good thing at the same time we also tend to forget that it’s a very subjective term. What May be too much could be too little for the other. For example two plants growing in same house don’t require same amount of manure water and sunlight.. and that’s the way it is

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