Protective Parents 2.0


Erin Bryant, Staff Writer


Step, duck, stare…step, duck, stare… This is the routine of an extremely over-protective parent. Their ‘baby’ consumes their life. As most high school student know, parents are still a prevailing part of life. Mothers and fathers do what they believe is best.

It is difficult to categorize parenting styles because there are different interpretations of actions. However, the typical model of a ‘helicopter parent’ may browse through their child’s belongings, read private messages, ask a lot of personal questions, follow their child, and even restrict certain privileges including dating.

Many of these parents act out of fear which is created by strong love and caring, they are afraid of their child getting hurt. Research conducted in a few Norwegian cities that shows that kids are evolutionarily programmed to be risk takers, because risks led to building knowledge on how to survive. The research also shows kids who take risks while they’re young tend to be less fearful as adults.

A new study out of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and the University of Texas in Austin shows that the children of parents who meet frequently with teachers don’t seem to improve more quickly than their peers whose parents aren’t at school as much.

Current parenting trends point toward a more aloof approach, which frowns upon the attentive nature of some. This method is unsafe in these times of crime and uncertainty. A child goes missing or is abducted every forty seconds in the United States. With proper guidance and watchfulness this number can drop.

“I get why parents can be over protective since the world is scary and kids need to be prepared,” Leah Scotti, junior, said.

In the teenage years, the urge to defend still remains but newfound knowledge of the world makes what was appropriate before appear as over-bearing. During these years, a parent must still watch over their child for it is still an unsafe world, but not with the same rigidness as when they were younger.

Many agree; “Parents need to show their children enough of the real world so those children can live on their own one day. They should only shield them from some major things,” Mitch Gulkis, sophomore, said.

“I think protective parents are beneficial to a certain extent. Helicopter parents may end up causing their children to become ‘sneaky’. This happened to my friend. My mom is kind of over protective but I understand why,” Ziana Aristy, freshman, said.

If a father reads his daughter’s text messages or a mother restricts her son’s social interaction, negative consequences may occur. But is allowing a teen to prance around thoughtlessly any better? Parents, especially of adolescents, need to find the balance of being vigilant without being domineering.