A new study has suggested that extra love and support doesn’t make up for being a helicopter parent.
Brigham Young University’s study revealed that parental warmth cannot neutralize the consequences of helicopter parenting and a lack of warmth makes the negative effects, like lower self-worth and higher risk behavior, such as binge drinking, worse.
Author Larry Nelson said that from the past work, they thought there might be something positive about helicopter parenting under certain conditions, but they’re just not finding it.
The study found that helicopter parenting combined with an absence of parental warmth is especially detrimental to young adults’ well-being.
Researchers defined helicopter parenting as parents’ over-involvement in the lives of their children. This includes making important decisions for them, solving their problems and intervening in their children’s conflicts. Warmth is measured by parental availability to talk and spend time together.
The findings suggest that loving parents can’t justify their helicoptering tendencies; too much control is too much, no matter the parents’ affection and support.
The authors note that helicopter parenting is relatively uncommon and not as damaging as forms of control that are harsh, punitive or manipulative.
Nelson warned that helicopter parents shouldn’t overcompensate by removing themselves completely from their children’s lives.
The study is published in Emerging Adulthood.