The term helicopter parenting comes from the notion that parents, like helicopters are hovering over their children, monitoring and controlling their life. Helicopter parenting is another form of emotional injury to your child. Unless your child is a full blown drug addict or involved in elicit or illegal activities, the message you’re sending your child by helicoptering him or her is: “I don’t trust you.” This averts the child from learning to gain his or her own independence.
When parents have a basic lack of trust in the world they are more prone to helicopter parenting. One major stage of development we pass through in childhood is developing a sense of trust in the world. If that was not established by parents because of their own early childhood traumas, they may project this lack of trust in the world onto their children.
As a result of this particular wound children will feel smothered and controlled. They may even feel that they have lost a sense of who they are as a result of the monitoring. A common complaint from children of these parents is that they have lost their voice, as helicopter parents take full control over various aspects of their life. Typically these children cannot feel free to express their frustration. This repression can create feelings of frustration that lead to depression.
Depression from a psychoanalytic perspective is anger turned in word. When we cannot express we repress and this implosion can cause us to repress emotions that will turn on us.
Helicopter parents are poor at mirroring their children and offering them empathic understanding. This form of human disconnect leaves the child with the dynamics of control/submit control/submit. There is no growth here because no authentic learning to communicate takes place. They’re only choice is to obey or avoid and neither one of them is a healthy alternative.
As time goes by repressed feelings become more and more problematic necessitating defense mechanisms that will later break the person down. Smoking drinking overeating are all examples of defense mechanisms that people use to cope with distressing feelings. These defense mechanisms are ways for the individual to “control” the anger that they feel inside about being controlled. The hole gets deeper and they end up experiencing what I refer to as the “hole in the soul.” This hole in the soul can then only be filled with temporary defenses that never build the person up and creates low self-esteem. As a result the person also develops negative core beliefs about him or herself such as “I’m week” or “I only matter when I’m pleasing another.”
From a mind map perspective wounds of the past are multigenerational in nature. Although we are not the cause of part one of our life because we have no control in the way we were parented, we can always reboot the system and be the cause of better outcomes for our life in our next chapter.
If you are a helicopter parent take inventory of your own childhood so that you can stop the multi generational projection process. By taking responsibility for your own wounds of your childhood, you can stop from contaminating your children with yours.