What is Hyper-parenting?

The transatlantic parenting trend - often referred to as 'helicopter parenting' - that could be damaging your child and how to avoid it

What is Hyper-parenting?

What is Hyper-Parenting?


Hyper-parenting is a phenomenon characterised by excessive attention to children. Hyper parenting or, helicopter parenting is a when a parent ensures their child has a busier schedule than a CEO. It means parents scheduling these kids to within a inch of their life – fitting in hours of sports clubs, music lessons and any other hobbies you might care to think of, not to mention school, homework and the small matters of eating and sleeping. Therefore, preventing children from experiencing the ‘carefree’ childhood they are entitled to

Hyper-Parenting has become a bigger trend in the past few years as life in general has become more competitive. And, seems to have emerged in the United States, where competitiveness prevails. This strong pressure to make sure their children are successful in life, so strong that some parents go so far as to reserve a spot in an elite preschool even before the child is born.

What are the benefits of Hyper-Parenting?

Parents who micro-manage their child’s lives may feel that by building up their children’s skill set in as many areas as possible, they are giving them the best chance of a successful future. School-gate pressure can play a part too, if friends or colleagues have conformed to this parenting style.

What are the disadvantages of hyper-parenting?

Many experts believe that a slower, more laissez-faire approach to parenting actually nurtures happier and more successful children. While equipping them with many academic skills, over-scheduling your child’s life takes her away from relaxing family time and socialising with peers, both of which are important for development.

As well as this an overly anxious style of parenting may put undue stress and pressure on your child to ‘succeed’ and reach specific, measurable targets instead of learning to value herself and her personal qualities as a whole.

It can also make children socially awkward in later life where less independent means they give up easily, can feel anxious and suffer with low self-confidence therefore becoming scared of the outside world.

How to avoid hyper-parenting

  • Avoid signing your child up for too many extra-curricular activities. Even if you feel pressured by other parents to compete with their busy family schedules, think about what is manageable for your family.
  • Arrange to have at least one day each week with an empty diary for the whole family, and see where the day takes you. Spend a Sunday with your children in the house or garden, having relaxed, schedule-free fun.
  • Try not to buy into every parenting fad or piece of research that comes along. Trust your instincts about what will work for your children.
  • Lead by example. Relaxed parents make for happier children, so resist the temptation to overstuff your own schedule or fret about all of the things you feel you should be doing.

READ MORE >> The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap by Alvin Rosenfeld and Nicole Wise