Are you a Helicopter Parent when your Child is Online?

Elena Haidukova on Jul 11, 2016

Helicopter Parent A “helicopter parent” is a term used to describe a parenting style that is highly protective. A "hovering" parent will be involved in every facet of their child's life - directing, micromanaging, and domineering - often their older-aged kids who may otherwise be able to take on more decision-making. The term became a "thing" when baby boomer parents called their millennial college-bound kids every morning to wake them up for class. Hence, the name has become synonymous particularly with parents who meddle in their older kid's lives; an age that perhaps may no longer warrant such involved parental intervention.

People may snicker at the helicopter parent, deriding the parenting style that they say creates "too much noise" and may not be conducive to raising self-confident kids. However, in today’s age - with online technology, elements of the helicopter parent are valuable. No parent wants their child to find themselves in a dangerous situation. And this couldn't be more true than today, when children are exposed more than ever to online threats. It's a fine line between overprotecting kids and giving them enough freedom to make their own choices and learn from their mistakes. But with online sexual predators, cyberbullying, dating scams, identity theft, and other criminal activities occurring online, parents simply must stay engaged and protect their kids 24/7.

Of course, there isn't a blanket, "one-size-fits-all" style to protecting online kids. Some kids require more assistance and observation than others. Parents need a flexible option when it comes to protecting their kids online. A downside to helicopter parenting is not finding opportunity to give teens their privacy and a chance to learn how to manage their own time online as well as honing safe Internet habits.

No doubt online technology has enabled the helicopter parenting style. Termed "the world's longest umbilical cord," smartphones have diminished a parent's ability to trust their instincts - and their kids. Parental control software is a Godsend for many would-be helicopter parents who are struggling with the balance of protecting their child while giving their child space. What are some things to look for in parental control software that won’t turn you into a hovering “eye-in-the-sky” machine?

  • Ensure it's a flexible solution, where online restrictions can be individualized based on the child's maturity and responsibility.

  • Software that acts as a “conversation-starter” so you can teach your child valuable time management skills. Screen-time management can teach kids how to prioritize responsibilities like school work while still having fun on their phone with apps or chatting with friends during the appropriate activity hours.

  • Look for software that provides the conscientious parent a regularly-scheduled log of who your child has emailed, new Facebook friend requests, pictures taken, and texts or phone calls made via the child's devices.

  • Software that encourages your child to adopt good online habits. Because after all, the true challenge for parents is to teach their kids how to take those big steps and do things for themselves. This responsibility and independence can be mastered with a bit of help, both on the part of the concerned parent and parental control software.

Familoop offers a well-balanced parental control system, designed to assist parents to parent better. With the Familoop Parental control software, helicopter parenting is not required. Parents choose how much online freedom to give their kids. In combination with our focus on helping parents teach their kids skills they can use the rest of their life, as described in our active blogs, Familoop provides a safe atmosphere for parents to keep a watchful eye on their kid - no helicoptering required.

It's important that your child understands early-on how to make online technology and social media work for them rather than work against them. As well, kids must learn the language of the Internet, with all the safety concerns that go along with it within the secure confines of your home. Familoop can help you teach your child these important boundaries, in a way that fosters respect - both for personal information on the Internet, and between parents and their kids. Try Familoop Safeguard with a free trial today, and see if it puts some of those helicopter parent tendencies to rest once and for all.

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