Find Out If You Helicopter

Parental Anxiety: Characteristics of Helicopter Parents 

Learn about the characteristics of helicopter parents and how our comprehensive online parenting course provides insight into how parental anxiety impacts your style of parenting, turning loving caregivers into helicopter moms and dads.   

If you feel your approach to being a parent leans towards anxiety-driven parenting, this course will help you lower parental anxiety so you can spend less time worrying about your children and more time enjoying them.



Take Our Parenting & Anxiety Quiz

Living In Constant Fear of Something Bad Happening to Your Child?


You might be struggling with anxiety, and it might be causing you to parent from an anxious, fear-based position. 


Do any of these sound familiar?

  • You feel an overwhelming urgency to protect and defend your child safe from danger and life.
  • You give so much of yourself to caring for your child you sometimes forget about yourself.
  • You doubt your parenting choices often, thinking you're doing too much or too little or "getting it wrong."
  • Trusting others with your child is a challenge; it's easier to handle things yourself, even it it's more work.

What Are The Signs Of A Helicopter Parent?


Being a parent comes with a natural amount of stress and pressure; sometimes, our fears go overboard. Have you noticed you're overly concerned about their well-being, health, success or happiness? Are you preoccupied with their success or worried about their future to an elevated level?

  • Not allowing children to experience age-appropriate risks or challenges.
  • Frequently intervening to "rescue" the child from minor struggles or discomforts.
  • Excessive contact with the child's teachers/coaches about minor issues.
  • Not giving children privacy or an "inner world" separate from their parents.
  • Discouraging activities that could lead to failure or emotional discomfort.
  • Making most decisions for the child rather than letting them choose¬†


Some might call that 'helicoptering', and depending on where your anxious thinking takes you, it could put you in the same group as the Tiger Parents or perhaps the Snowplow Parents. Whatever type of parent you are (and you can find out for sure by raking our parenting style quiz here), you might agree that there's some anxiety in the mix.

This might not come as a surprise, but constant anxiety is not healthy for you, your child, or your family.

I have seen and treated hundreds of parents over the decade I've been working with families, and see how anxiety creates over-involved parents and overprotective parents. While you and I both know this comes from a wonderfully loving and protective place, the effects of helicopter parenting and any of the parenting approaches that are high-anxiety are becoming more alarming as more research comes out.


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Anxious and Overprotective Parents: Effects on Children

Elevated Narcissistic Traits

Research suggests a correlation between Helicopter parenting and the emergence of narcissistic tendencies and behavior that disregards social norms.  Individuals exhibiting narcissism often display traits like egocentrism, manipulation, overconfidence, self-preoccupation, and rashness. 

 Enhanced Anxiety Levels:

The growing incidence of various anxiety disorders like social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and disorders related to separation and attachment among young adults is a growing concern, particularly in cases where parents are excessively involved. These disorders can profoundly hinder the day-to-day life of affected individuals.

Deficiency in Coping Skills 

Research from several studies indicates that excessively protective parenting plays a major role in the development of poor coping mechanisms among this age group. The high expectations set by parents often result in young individuals adopting inefficient strategies to cope with stress, and deprives them of chances to learn how to self-regulate. 

Impact on Academic Performance

Studies show that helicopter parenting yields mixed results in terms of academic achievement even though some parents believe that their close involvement will guarantee academic success for their children. Excessive parental interference is often linked with creating high pressure, entitlement attitudes, and maladaptive perfectionism in students. 

Helicopter Parenting / Bulldozer Parenting / Lawnmower Parenting:


If there's one thing you can do to ensure your child grows up into happy, healthy, well-adjusted & successful adults, it's to manage your own anxiety. Decades of research confirm the negative impact of parental anxiety on child development. It's vital for parents to understand their anxiety and to calm it. We are seeing a wide range of impacts of helicopter parenting on adult children in areas such as:

- Social Skills

- Crucial Life Skills

- Sense of Entitlement

- Poor Coping Skills.

Helicopter parenting can often have quite a negative impact psychologically on teens and young people which will often lead to them having a deficit in coping skills.

Anxiety & Depression

One of the widely documented impacts of anxiety-driven parenting is that we're seeing that excessive interference in their child's lives can undermine the child's belief in their abilities, reducing their confidence in handling tasks and challenges independently. Not to mention increased rates of anxiety in children as young as 8 or 9.

Decision-Making Difficulties

When anxious parents solve problems for their children, the children may not develop the necessary essential skills to navigate challenges on their own in their own daily lives.

Dissatisfaction with Life

Research suggests that the high level of parental control associated with this parenting style can interfere with young adults' feelings of contentment and fulfillment, they are missing essential skills needed to seek meaning and purpose in life. Poor communication skills mean that they are not able to connect deeply with their peers at school which leads to low self esteem. 


Lack of Autonomy & Self-Efficacy

Parental anxiety can undermine the child's belief in their abilities, reducing their confidence in handling tasks and challenges independently.

Do You Want To Stop Being an Anxious or Controlling Parent?


Grounded Parenting is a Family Systems oriented parenting course that deals with lowering the parental anxiety that is behind 'Helicopter Parenting', 'Tiger Parenting' 'Jellyfish Parenting - and ... but really, it's about parenting from a more grounded position and is suitable for any parent, caregiver or mental health professional interest in Family Systems Theory.

The opposite of a helicopter parent is NOT an uninvolved parent that doesn't care - it's not a 'bad parent' either. It's responsible parenting that has a balanced approach to caring and controlling. 

Grounded Parenting: An Alternative to Helicopter Parenting ‚Ästis an Anxi-Anxiety Parenting Course that compiles all my teachings, tools, and strategies to shift from overprotective parenting to a more balanced approach. I share a decade worth of working with parentst through¬†a family systems perspective, keeping it focused on healthy relationships.

Get started today by taking our free parenting and anxiety quiz and learn more about our thoughts on parenting without anxiety.




In order to combat anxiety, you have to know where it comes from. As a Family Systems therapist, I help clients and parents understand Chronic Anxiety as a function of their levels of differentiation. 

Understanding The S.O.F.T Modality is a game changer for anxiety and any relationship. 




Our anxiety tends to be directed in one of two places

  • On an OTHER person - our partner, co-parent, but more typically our child

I call this being Focused on Other

  • On the FUTURE or the PROBLEM or the FIX

I call this being Fear-Based. Too much of this leads to over protective parents.

In this course, I want to help you keep your anxiety FIXED inside, that way it doesn't spill out onto other people, we don't act on it by rushing in and fixing things, and we give that much-needed space for psychological autonomy. 





When we're born, we are entirely dependent on our caregivers - we need them to wipe our butts (literally). If everything goes well, and of course, there are exceptions, 18 or so years later, we're pretty much INdependent. The process of becoming independent comes partly from psychological autonomy - and this is one of the five parenting dials we explored in previous modules. 

Developmental psychology teaches us that psychological autonomy comes from three areas all of which lead to healthy development of kids:

  • Being in relationship with our child
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Increased Responsibility



The boundaries around our self help us in so many ways; they keep our feelings from gushing out, distinguish our Self from Others and contain our anxiety.  

Balanced boundaries are the most healthy boundary we can have and should strive to have. This type of boundary helps us remain calm and non-reactive and listen and express our feelings to others. 




For an organization to succeed, whether it's in conservation, retail, or manufacturing, it needs certain elements. Organizations require structure for success, with clear leaders distributing tasks.

Similar to an organization, a family needs a structure. Typically, two parents are at the top, with the children below them. This model may change for single-parent households but remains valid. The three parenting styles we'll discuss can be compared to three types of company CEOs, and each can lead to changes in the family structure.





A family systems-oriented course to lower anxiety so you can stop worrying about parenting and start enjoying it.


  • 5 Modules - covering major topics of parenting and anxiety.
  • Over 12 videos no longer than 15 minutes, so that you can watch this at your own pace and because we know you're busy. 
  • Handouts and PDF's for each module so you can enhance your learning with printed copies of tools and conepts.
  • Tried and tested tools to help understand your self, others and anxiety.


  • E-Book - the entire course is presented as an e-book for you to download and read at your pleasure *
  • Audio Versions - take the audio of each module with you to listen to in your car or on your phone.
  • Q&A Section - leave your comments and questions and we'll answer with a video  

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Am I A Helicopter Parent?

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