“Helicopter parents”: Children with behavioral disorders, but wiser?

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Of: Jasmine Pospiech


Many mock overprotective parents who remove all obstacles from their children’s path. Studies show that the concept is successful.

Princeton – They are the fear of any educator, educator or teacher: helicopter parents. As the name suggests, they revolve around their offspring 24 hours a day and try to meet all their needs. With the aim of relieving him of the difficulties of life and removing possible obstacles from his path. However, many educators have few warm words left for this pedagogical concept. Most even criticize it publicly. The message behind: Taking everything out of hand does not give them a chance to develop and take responsibility for their own lives.

“Helicopter parents”: Children with behavioral disorders, but wiser? studies for comparison

Do not lose your temper now: a young child’s tantrum usually lasts about four to five minutes. (Iconic image) © Mascha Bruchta

An expert even goes so far as to say that overprotection means failure of care in children. The researchers, dr. Matthias Doepke, professor of economics and Dr. Fabrizio Zilibotti of Yale University studied the phenomenon of “helicopter parents” and came to an amazing result. Her study shows that not everything about helicopter training is bad. Due to the strict control, children of such parents would have better chances of education and success in life. The latter applies first and foremost to their career path and later standard of living.

At the same time, however, the concept of education reinforces the “parenting” and thus the growing inequality in society. According to this, the researchers especially compared their own childhood experiences with the current upbringing of their offspring for the study. “My parents expected us to show up for dinner, go to school and be home before dark, but otherwise we had a lot of freedom,” says Doepke. “The reality today is that my role as a parent is much more intense. I spend a lot of time being a parent, just like most other American parents today. “

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“Helicopter parents”: Children with behavioral disorders, but wiser? studies for comparison

Her years of research eventually resulted in the book Love, Money and Parenting: How Economics Explains the Way We Raise Our Kids Raise Our Children. ”) And their core thesis: Unlike in the past, children are put under enormous pressure to perform. In addition, the offspring are indirectly understood as a commodity and a status symbol in the market competition, and helicopter parents are increasingly leading and “controlling” the upbringing of their children.

But contrary to the assumption that the parenting style produces defiant, spoiled children, the researchers believe that the offspring will obediently achieve all career and success goals. They come to this conclusion after evaluating the performance tests for 15-year-olds around the world. The results were then compared with reports from the young people and their parents and how they relate to each other. It turned out that a “paternalistic” way of raising children leads to better performance values ​​when the parents belong to the same social group. However, this further widens the gap between rich and poor.

“Helicopter parents”: Children with behavioral disorders, but wiser? studies for comparison

But are these children happy? For Prof. Dr. Stephan Bender, director of the clinic for psychiatry, psychosomatics and psychotherapy of children and adolescents at the University Hospital in Cologne, deals with children and their helicopter parents are part of the practice. He doubts this, so he acknowledges certain characteristics of children raised by helicopter parents: “Children of helicopter parents often lack social skills and initiative, they have difficulty expressing their needs and can not fully develop their talents,” he explains. to AOK health. insurance company. In the end, it is probably the famous happy medium that also applies to child rearing: to lead and direct the offspring and set boundaries, but not completely deprive them of their freedom.

This article contains only general information about the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It in no way replaces a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical pictures.

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