Helicopter Parenting: Introducing “W”
W is the first-born male of three siblings. W is considered as the “golden child”, as his family waited for 17 years long before their first child finally arrived. W never lacked emotional or material love. Both his parents fulfilled their roles and raised him in a harmonious family. Everyone loved him all the more because he was an adorable and clever child. It was doubtless that all the attention within the extended family was centered towards him. W is very close with both of his parents, especially his mother – their emotional bond is very strong.
W went through appropriate developmental phases like other children of the same age. The love and attention he received from his parents also did not change. His mother consistently nurtured the values of modesty, empathy and obedience.
Unfortunately, his mother’s parenting remains unchanged even as he enters his teenage years. He was used to his mother managing every aspect of his life, ranging from his meals, what colored clothing to wear, and diet restrictions prohibiting iced beverages, among others. W was used to getting everything from his mother, every aspect of himself was determined by his mother, even into adulthood.
Eventually, W became a person who is always dependent on others, indecisive, unable to resolve issues, and has underdeveloped confidence for his age. W often experiences failures in establishing interpersonal relationships with his peers and with the opposite sex. He was also ridiculed as “mommy’s child” by his friends. The worst things W will possibly experience are difficulty managing issues as an adult and managing his household.
Understanding Helicopter Parenting
So, what really happened to W? Don’t his parents seem to be educating and loving him wholeheartedly? Do any of you know or have heard of Helicopter Parenting? Yanuar Jatnika (2016:1) defines helicopter parenting in the book “Between Parent and Teenager” as parenting where parents overly protects and gives attention to the child.
The main traits of helicopter parenting include the parent’s desire to attend to the child’s activities to the point of neglecting their own needs and always attempting to remove hindrances for the child. Parents with helicopter behavior will always hover over and pay excessive attention to their children. For some parents, paying attention to their children’s needs and protecting them from problems and difficulties are part of how they show love and care for their children.
The intentions of parents with this parenting practice are noble and good. Parents undoubtedly ought to love their children wholeheartedly. The problem occurs when it is performed excessively, impacting the child’s character development as they enter adulthood. Often children with helicopter parents are unable to resolve problems, experience difficulty developing self-confidence, and have poor mental resilience (Fira Nur Anindya & Bijaksana Prabawa, 2018: 2). Other impacts include often being extremely dependent in adulthood such that they lack readiness to manage life’s challenges (Elsa Cindrya, 2016: 4).
What Someone Like W Can Do
Perhaps some of you KALMers may feel that you have had experiences similar to W. Perhaps you feel that you grew up under helicopter parents and as adults, experience similar difficulties like W. So, what can W do to overcome them? There are two psychological approaches that KALMers can undertake:
This is an element of the family mental health care program that provides information and education through therapeutic communication. The psychoeducation program is an approach that is educational and pragmatic in nature. This therapy aims to alter and improve the perspective and resilience within the family setting to optimize the function of the family’s support system.
The problem resolution is focused on Client W, providing space for Client W to express his problems and direct him to eventually resolve his own issues.
To carry out this approach, KALMers will need the guidance of a counselor or psychologist. KALMers can also obtain this service through the KALM application with one of our Kalmselors (KALM Psychologist and Professional Counsellors). The impact of parenting carries through to adulthood, whether in a negative or positive way. However, this does not mean that we cannot change the negative to positive with proper effort and appropriate guidance.
Penulis: Kalmselor Dwi Surya Purwanti, M. Psi., Psikolog (Kalmselor’s Code: DWI-888)
Note: You can consult with Kalmselor Dwi through KALM App and use Kalmselor’s Code: DWI-888
Editor: Lukas Limanjaya
Translated by: Jessie Yunus
Elsa Cindrya. (2016). Dampak Pengasuhan Terhadap Perkembangan Sosial Anak (Studi Deskriptif Kualitatif Anak Usia 5-7 Tahun Pada Masyarakat Di Sekitar Hutan Tanam Industri (HTI) SP 9 Desa Harapan Makmur Kecamatan Musi Lakitan Kabupaten Rawas, Sumatera Selatan Tahun 2016). Diakses pada hari Senin, tanggal 30 Nopember 2020 dari file:///C:/Users/USER/Downloads/2235-Article%20Text-5773-1-10-20180711.pdf
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Yanuar Jatnika. (2016). Pola Pengasuhan Helikopter. Diakses pada hari Senin, tanggal 30 Nopember 2020 dari https://sahabatkeluarga.kemdikbud.go.id/laman/index.php?r= tpost/xview&id=2409