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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Friday, June 3, 2022

Helicopter Parenting And How To Overcome It

I remember the times when we were young, our parents sent us to play on Sunday morning in our neighboring area and we used to come home late until dinner time. But now the times have changed and parents now feel the need to keep a constant eye on their children. They definitely wish that their kids too could have that kind of childhood but what can be done, times have changed and they have to ensure the safety of their children.

But this urge to keep our kids safe and healthy becomes problematic when we as parents try to remove every negative thing from our kid's path and make sure that our kids never experience disappointment, pain or discomfort. This is what a helicopter parent is! A helicopter parent becomes overly involved in their children's lives hindering the personal lives of kids, their hobbies and interests. At heart of every helicopter parent is an anxiety to ensure the happiness, safety and navigating ability in the world. Such parents spend most of the time second guessing the decisions they make as a parent. They as a parent become overprotective towards their children so much that they start to project their worst fears on their kids. They become hyper vigilant and try to protect their child from anything which they think is bad for them.

They always keep on wondering and become anxious if their child is too silent, too loud, too tall, too short and the list goes on. These weak boundaries between parent and child can be problematic and make your child too dependent on you. They cannot make any decision in their life without their parents' help even when they grow up and this can mess up their life. You must understand that none of us want to screw up the lives of our children and your constant hovering about their upbringing and getting too much involved in their lives can prevent them from having important experiences in their lives and will screw their lives surely in one way or another. Hence let me tell you some complete DON'Ts when it comes to your parenting:

Helicopter Parenting And How To Overcome It
  1. Do not hover over your kid - If your kid is 5 years or above, let them tie their shoe laces themselves, or let them dress themselves. Do not always be around and avoid holding them back from normal activities which kids of their age do at their level, normal risks. It is not at all a good idea to talk to their teachers continuously and answer in place of your kids so that they don't need to answer. When they hesitate to make a decision let them take their time, reason it out and decide, do not jump in and decide for them abruptly. You need to understand that they also need to feel the pain and discomfort as it is part of growing up.
  2. Do not project your worries on your kid's back - Projecting your fears and worries onto your child can be your biggest mistake and can make them under confident and self-doubtful. Helicopter parents keep on imagining the worst things all the time and ask questions like are you okay? Are you feeling good? Do you have someone to play with?
  3. Avoid making your child the center of your universe - Don't be obsessed with your child day and night. Stop trying to get all your emotional needs met by your kid. If you will do everything that he/she should be doing at that age, this will make them dependent on you and they'll have a hard time functioning on their own in any point of life. Please stop determining your self-worth from their achievements and don't try to get validation as a parent.
  4. Stop labeling your kid - Words are very strong, they can either build someone or destroy them. Hence the wise use is advised. Always labeling your kid that they are slow, lazy, urning out like your dad, etc. can cause negative impact on their mind and push them into a box. Do not decide what your kid will be like, they even don't know themselves, nobody knows.
  5. Learn to take disagreement from your child - Do not take it personally if they do not agree on certain points with you. They are growing, learning new things and have their own thoughts and opinions. Putting your thoughts in their mind can suppress theirs and they won't be able to hear their own belief and thoughts. Don't force them if they take different paths in life from the one you thought for them.
  6. Let your kids take decisions from a young age - If you allow them to make decisions either be it small from young age like what to play, wear etc, this will make them independent in life. If you are too involved in their every life issue and decide everything for them, it can help them at starting but will make them dependent on you and they might not be able to make life decisions in later life.
  7. Make them learn essential life skills - Instead of worrying about their life and preventing them from unpleasant experiences in life, teach your kids good life skills so that they know how to deal with bad and unpleasant things and situations in life on their own. Assign your kids their age appropriate chores like you should make them learn to make their own bed or prepare their own breakfast.

Parents who are struggling to overcome their helicopter parenting should definitely try taking a few Ayurvedic herbs which not only will calm their anxiety, relax their mind, but also will bring a positive attitude towards life. Like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Brahmi is an ancient Ayurvedic herb that has been used since ages to relax the mind and calm the anxiety. This herb supports healthy functioning of the nervous system, relieves anxiety and stress and also boosts the ability for inspiration receiving. Second helpful herb here can be Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna). Arjuna helps in toning and strengthening the circulatory system of the body and promotes healthy function of muscles of the heart. This herb was used in ancient times to create an emotional balance for those who have been fighting from sadness and grief. Third herb which will help you here is Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). This herb contains natural compounds which calms down the brain and boosts immunity. It can help in fighting anxiety, worries and will promote the overall health of a person.

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