Parent College Coach Tip #26: Helicopter Parenting–It’s Not All Bad

Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter parenting–it’s not all bad

It’s no surprise that parents have become so involved in their kids’ lives that school administrators have begun to label us; helicopter parent, snow plow parent, and bulldozer parent. But it can’t all be bad; after all, parents are actually involved. Is this a bad thing? As with anything there are extremes. And it’s possible that a few bad parenting experiences have shed a negative light on all of us.

Let’s take a look at the benefits helicopter parenting:

Parents who are involved tend to have academically successful students.

Studies show kids who have parents that stay involved from Kindergarten to 12th grade are more likely to excel academically. Why? Involved parents help students with studies, organization and make sure they do their assignments. They also stay on top of grades and can recognize any problems that may require extra help.

Parents who are involved have students who are less likely to participate in at-risk behaviors.

Students whose parents are involved in their lives are going to find it harder to participate in at-risk behaviors. Why? Parents who know their kid’s friends, encourage activities at home, and encourage their kids to participate in after school activities help the kids learn responsibility and commitment. They have little time to get into trouble.

Parents who are invested financially and encourage their students to invest financially have students who take their education seriously.

College is a large financial commitment. When parents commit to invest, and insist that their student invest, the student will be more likely to see the value of that investment. That translates into academic success and a successful college education.

It’s a fact that some parents do get overly involved in their student’s life. But saying that all parents are helicopter parents is wrong. Our roles as parents have changed and evolved over the years. Today’s parents are invested in their student’s educational future and success . . . Should parents be embraced as partners and should the colleges help parents embrace that role?

My mother used to say, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.” I think that is the best way to look at helicopter parenting. Embrace the good things about this type of parenting and avoid the behaviors that cause educators to label us.

Author: Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer advises parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation at She is excited to share her knowledge with the readers of Smart College Visit.

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