We’ve heard teachers and college administrators complain about “helicopter parents,” overbearing moms and dads trying to regulate every aspect of their kids’ lives. But, as a popular kids’ website reports, this is also a major concern among teens.
Teencentral.net is a website where kids can post questions anonymously, and then get an answer from a certified counselor within 24 hours. And, increasingly, kids want to know how to deal with their controlling moms and dads.
“The parents make play dates, the parents get them to school, the parents control their relationships,” explained Dr. Julius Licata, a mental health professional who heads the site.
“Usually, they feel smothered, they feel controlled, they feel that they have no ability to make decisions,” he added.
Letting go is a terrifying concept for many parents, but it’s an important part of development, he said.
“We need to realize that our kids have to grow, they have to make mistakes, they have to be allowed to learn from their mistakes,” Licata said. “If we hover over them and control every move they make, we don’t allow them to grow, and we don’t allow them to be themselves.”
Counselors on the site advise kids to sit down with their parents and discuss how the “hovering” affects them, and to come up with ways to give them space to make more decisions for themselves.