Archive An Open Letter to Helicopter Moms: Please Let Your Child Fly 

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I had a helicopter mom; in some ways, I still do. And I didn’t understand how it impacted me until later in life. In fact, I didn’t know what to call it until I accidentally came upon the term one day. And suddenly, it was as if I had escaped the matrix, seeing everything in its true form. I finally understood why my mom acted that way and how it had affected me, my mental health, and my actions all these years. This is an open letter to all helicopter moms around the world.


Your Love is Suffocating Me

Dear Helicopter Moms, 

Writing an open letter to you all is difficult enough, yet unfortunately, there is an essential obstacle in penetrating your defenses; you don’t know who you are. Helicopter moms are defined as mothers that pay extremely close attention to their children, watching their every move, and hovering over them as if they’re imitating a helicopter. And yet, with this helicopter moms’ definition, many mothers don’t understand that they are, in fact, helicopter moms, overprotective parents in every sense of the word.

You see your actions as loving ones, and in some ways, they are. You’re certainly far from what one would call neglectful parenting. You might even be disturbed by how other parents leave their children alone, seeing it as a sign of disaffection. In your world, the fact that you’re always there for your child, your omnipresence, is a virtue. But for your child, it is not.

Children need to experiment in order to grow. As Sir Ken Robinson said in his famous TED Talk, children are organic beings, they need to grow like an organic being, like a plant. You, the parent, the school, and the caregivers, provide the necessary resources for growth, the soil, the water, and the sun, and you trust in the plant’s ability to grow. I want to grow, but constantly hovering over me isn’t just not helping; it’s getting in the way. Too much love suffocates a plant.


Mother holds little boy’s head on sofa


I Need to Learn from My Mistakes

Failure is important, especially when I don’t have a lot to lose, yet there’s a lot to learn. For example, have you thought about that time when you did your child’s homework. I remember when my mom did mine. I don’t remember if I couldn’t do it or wasn’t willing to, but the right strategy was certainly not to do it for me. If I was doing my homework badly, I would have gotten a bad grade. I wasn’t doing it out of procrastination, I would have been punished at school. Either way, I would have learned something.

Preventing your children from experiencing failure might come from a place of love, securing them in a bubble protected from the world, but that just sets them up for failure in the real world when they grow up. Because they haven’t learned to grow.

Let’s say your child has had a fight with their friend in school. If you’re the one who wants to call the child’s mom to talk it out, then something’s wrong. The real solution is to let your child talk to their friend, growing in the process. Overall, refrain from trying to rescue your child from problems all the time. Let them learn from their mistakes.


I Need to Build My Own Identity

The damages children of helicopter moms face are far more than developing skills. Children run the risk of not being able to develop a stable identity, a sense of self. If a child’s hobbies and friends are being chosen by their parents, the child’s identity formation process will be hindered.

I look around me and see I know how to play the violin even though I always wanted to learn the piano, or that I never got to go to a certain friend’s birthday party and never really became friends with them. Helicopter moms produce these effects. To prevent such effects, you have to let your children make their own choices, pursue their own interests and respect their decisions.

If you feel like some of their friends aren’t good choices, you can talk to your child but don’t intervene, especially not by force. The dangers of you intervening with their choice to get skateboarding classes are more than the dangers of falling from a skateboard and scraping their knee.


Mother smiling at child on sofa while child is watching TV



All in all, helicopter moms can have devastating effects on the future of their children. I’ve tried to give helicopter mom examples of what they would do in certain situations. Helicopter moms will suffocate their child with love, leading to their children not learning from mistakes and not being able to build a strong sense of identity. There’s a difference between managing your child and mismanaging them. Managing tools that are great like parental control apps can easily become tools for helicopter moms to ruin their children.

So, take time to consider your parenting style and how it will affect your child. Hopefully, this will lead to your children turning into adults with stable identities with specific emotional wants and needs that are theirs and not yours. And I guess that’s what my open letter has been about; for parents, specifically helicopter parents, to ponder over their decisions and how they affect their child’s future. Please let your child fly.


A Concerned Child 

Mohammad Z.

Mohammad Z.

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