A helicopter parent hovers over their children with both concern and vigilance. Making things better now, makes things worse later.
Studies have found that there are many deficiencies that appear later in life for the protected child. In no particular order of importance they include:
- The child has an inadequate understanding of accountability. The child will tend to deflect from failure, cover it up or blame others. You cannot learn from your mistakes if you never accept that you have made a mistake.
- Fear of failure. That what has not been experienced is forever threatening. I had a job painting one summer. An old timer told me that you lose your fear of falling only after you do so.
- Insufficient confidence. Confidence arises from the knowledge that you can address new circumstances and derive and implement effective methods. Confidence is learned by experience and training. It is not learned by avoidance. Avoidance teaches undeserved self-esteem and that is the diametric opposite of confidence
- Weak relationships. People who seek those who will protect and nurture them add little. These relationships, both personal and work, fail.
No one can be a helicopter pilot forever. Problems compound. They are never solved. The pilot of the helicopter has choices. Land it now and address the issues or wait until the machine falls out of the sky under the weight of its cargo.
Helicopter governments don’t work better. Choose to support those who promote self sufficiency and achievement rather than co-dependency.
Might be a worthy goal for some bosses and financial planners too.
Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org