When the children of the “helicopter fathers” grow up: this is how they leave

When children move
This is how the “helicopter fathers” manage to abandon it

Mums and dads who constantly circle their children in an overly controlling and protective manner: the term “helicopter dads” was coined for them about 20 years ago. What are the consequences when sons and daughters grow up? And how can parents view the rope more relaxed?

A generation of children is growing up whose parents do not have a good reputation. They are very caring, very protective, very controlling, and always go around their kids. In the early 2000s, an American family therapist coined the term helicopter parents.

Young people who have grown up under these influences begin their independent adult lives differently? Even if the umbilical cord was cut about two decades ago, this stage of life is all about cutting the umbilical cord again, about being able to stand on your own two feet, make decisions and take responsibility for them. But can that work if it’s the parents who don’t want to let go of the bond?

Parents have more worries

Some parents find it difficult not to bring their children to the classroom during school hours. It is more difficult when the offspring leave the nest.

(Photo: Frank Rambenhorst/dpa/dpa-tmn)

Klaus Koch notes that “what actually increased were parents’ fears about their children’s future.” A psychologist looks at how bonds are formed between parents and children and what affects them, especially in adolescence.

More than previous generations, they tended to avoid danger from their children while at the same time emphasizing the idea of ​​achievement. However, Koch advises not to put all parents of this generation who have taken good care of their children in the helicopter drawer. “It is important for children’s development to feel safe and secure, to enjoy recognition and resonance. This enables them to develop into independent and responsible adults,” Koch says.

Make your own decisions

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Sometimes, parents’ fears can make it difficult for children to grow up.

(Photo: Evgenia Sunegina / Westend61 / dpa-tmn)

Miriam Ochronsky agrees: “For parents, the question should be how to empower their children to make their own decisions.” At the Student Advisory Service at the Technical University of Munich, she advises young people who are still looking.

She doesn’t think they’re basically more hesitant – also because their parents took a lot of things off their hands – but you could tell that some of them are younger due to the shorter time in high school. “They often don’t know much about themselves. But there are also those who are sure from childhood that they will work as a doctor one day, for example.”

Study tips for parents?

The Student Counseling Service at the Technical University of Munich also offers informational events for parents – but not with the aim of the mother and father then deciding on a topic for their children for their children. “It’s more about imparting knowledge about how the study works today and where you can get the information,” Ochronsky says.

This richness of opportunities wasn’t there before, “as parents you have to see this development, plus the fact that studying today is different than when you were young.” The 30-year-old’s lecture notes hardly give a realistic picture of the current requirements for an engineering degree. It is difficult to apply the advice by looking at the lectures in other departments today.

Too much control leads to insecurity

Being there as a conversation partner for your child is the best support parents can give, Ochronsky says: “For young people, after all, they are the ones who know them best and can help them learn more about themselves.”

On the other hand, it becomes problematic when they pass on their own fears to their children and do not trust them to take their lives into their own hands: “If children and young adults are constantly monitored, they will not learn to take responsibility for themselves and care should be taken with dealing with themselves,” says psychologist Klaus Koch. Too much control makes you insecure, “Children should come to the conclusion that the world is dangerous if they are constantly watched.”

“Generation Z attaches great importance to security”

Generation Z is also called the young people born at the turn of the millennium. Susan Polish, a professor at IU International University with a focus in human resource management, examines the ideas and expectations she has when she starts working. Böhlich notes that “Generation Z attaches great importance to predictability and security”. And look at what is realistically possible.

Is it because of excessive parental protection? It is possible, says Böhlich, but the issues that young people have faced in their lives so far are just as important, the climate crisis and not least the corona pandemic: “We are all craving for more predictability right now. It will be interesting how the attitude towards the lives of generations is changing due to Corona. “.

(This article was first published on Sunday, April 24, 2022.)

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