The overprotective parents of the helicopter have been on everyone’s lips for years. The term “divers parents” has been appearing in this context for some time. Are they worse than helicopter parents? How do you know if your behavior is heading in this direction and what an education expert says about it.
When parents only want “the best for the baby.”
Surely we will all sign the statement that we want the best for our children. Accompanying our children well and safely and protecting them from all potential dangers is not a bad thing in itself. In the current difficult times, this alone is an enormous task for parents.
Helicopter or lawnmower vs. subs parents
But then there are extreme inclinations in one direction or another, which have been given certain designations in popular science: the so-called helicopter parents They always circle around their child and consider it their job to keep their child out of any trouble. They prefer to go up behind them on the field so that nothing happens. They like to organize their children’s day and free time so that everything remains under control and the child receives maximum support.
This seems positive at first. The only problem: if you take this to an extreme, there is a risk that the child will become too dependent and will not be self-confident or will not be flexible enough. With this style of upbringing, the needs of the child are completely overlooked. It is overprotective.
This behavior is exacerbated by Lawn mower dads: This is how popular science describes those parents who remove all potential obstacles or problems for children out of the way beforehand. The child does not learn the culture of error and hardly knows how to independently deal with conflicts and difficult situations. submarine parents They are on the other end: they only care about the child’s education when he’s just 12. And then they go straight to the highest authority.
What are submarine parents?
also the term “Subs parents“It is by no means a technical term from psychology. The term came to different types of parents through press discourses and a more everyday psychological perspective. One reads about underwater parents primarily in relation to the relationship between parents and school teachers. In Focus in an interview, he describes The teacher and law expert at the school Thomas Bohm a certain type of father is as follows: these fathers will not attend for long, will not accept parental talk and will hardly participate in the child’s school career.
Only when transportation is threatened or when there is another serious problem at school do they re-emerge like a submarine and “then they take out the really heavy artillery.” In the worst case, those parents, who had never bothered to avoid this situation before, immediately threaten to contact a lawyer. The child is the one who suffers.
Typical underwater parenting behavior builds up in schools
According to expert Thomas Bohm, such complaints from parents have increased in recent years. The phenomenon of divers parents is no longer an isolated case.
Typical of these parents are:
- They do not see themselves as partners with teachers, but lead the battle of “fathers against teachers”
- They are confrontation rather than cooperation
- They rarely attend formal parent evenings or parent-teacher conferences
- They rarely seek personal contact with school staff
- They don’t take the first signs that a child has trouble at school seriously
- They only report when there is a risk of expulsion from school or when transportation is in danger, some even carrying a worse grade than the previous one
- In extreme cases, they only send a letter from an attorney, objection or lawsuit without first discussing it with the school
Why do parents in a submarine cause so much harm to their children
Even parents who react in this way only want the best for their children from their point of view. But with their behaviour, they unfortunately ensure that things are only getting worse for the student. Thomas Bohm, in his book We Don’t Accept This Degree, describes exactly the rights and duties that parents and teachers have. If both of them know exactly these things and work together rather than each other, the best educational outcome for the child can be achieved.
A person who thinks they only have rights and no duties has transferred all responsibility to the school. This situation can not work.
School legal expert Thomas Bohm
He also points out that overprotective helicopter parents standing in front of the staff room and wanting to be informed of every detail can be very stressful. But at least they will be interested in the educational path of the child. This is rarely the case with U-Boot parents: they often believe that only the teacher is responsible for good academic performance. That is why they do not seek dialogue directly at the beginning of the first difficulties. Thus, good cooperation between parents and teachers is not possible.
“Parents – as well as teachers – often forget that school is a community event. It only works if they both work together and coordinate well. (…) However, parents often act in a direct and aggressive manner. They only have the goal to prevail.”
Submarine, helicopter or lawnmower? In the end, it comes down to your baby
Lack of interest in a child’s education is as problematic as the gurgling of a teacher. It is important that Thomas Bohm emphasizes once again: the school is not solely responsible if the child has problems. There are many factors that play a role. If we parents view teachers as enemies, we will not help our children. We must see them as partners, and never forget that as parents we need to teach our children the importance of education and learning.
And not only this: if we want our children to respect the teacher, we must also treat them with respect. This also includes first seeking direct conversation if the child feels uncomfortable about certain topics. Then a lot of things can be clarified.
Of course, in some cases you can file a justified objection to performance evaluations or referrals. But before you consult a lawyer or go directly to the school administration, you should talk to the teachers. After all, the child will also suffer if we are hated parents in the faculty. If you want to know what legal options and obligations you have, take a look at Mr. Bohm’s book.
Do you belong to your parents or are you too cautious?
Helicopter Parents: How Overly Careful Are You?
Sources: Stangl Dictionary, Focus, Life and Education
Image Credit: Getty Images / alexsokolov