When you think of the term "helicopter parent", there always seems to be a negative connotation attached to it. Over the years, helicopter parenting has been viewed as a sure way to create stressed out, detail-obsessed children who can't do anything for themselves. Not only that, but it makes the parent's job ten times harder because, on top of everything else, they've added more worries, stressors, and to-dos to their days. However, new research suggests that the effect on children is completely the opposite than most may think, and that this style of parenting can actually be beneficial.
If you've never heard of helicopter parenting, it's basically just a negative way of describing a parenting style in which the parent is very involved in their child's emotional, social and physical well-being. The New York Times reports that helicopter parenting is just what kids need in today's society. A book published by economists Matthias Doepke (Northwestern University) and Fabrizio Zilibotti (Yale) called Love, Money and Parenting: How Economics Explains the Way We Raise Our Kids states that being hyper-involved with children has extreme benefits for their futures.
Now, just like any good thing, there's a balance; and too much of a good thing is bad. Taking helicopter parenting to the extreme and giving your children no freedom whatsoever isn't doing anyone any favours. But when done right- and by actively and whole heatedly being a part of your child's life- children are more likely to succeed.
Dr. Doepke and Dr. Zilibotti conducted a study in which they analyzed the 2012 PISA, which The New York Times explains as a worldwide academic test for 15-year-olds. Their results showed that teenagers who had parents they'd describe as hyper-involved in their lives got better scores than those whose parents gave them much more freedom.
The study did stress that authoritarian parenting is basically helicopter parenting done wrong, and has no beneficial effects on children. The best form of parenting is said to be authoritative parenting, in which parents are still strict but bend towards children's needs rather than enforce rules "because they said so". Authoritative parenting, which is still under the umbrella of helicopter parenting, teaches adaptability, flexibility, understanding, and yes- even independence. This is one way to raise your children the best way possible.