Opinion / From the Readers

Helicopter parents harmful to kids

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-16 08:19

I am familiar with helicopter parents (those who pay extremely close attention to their children, particularly in education) thanks to my previous and current job as an overseas teacher. Helicopter parents, despite their good intentions, could prevent the natural development of their children.

I am a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) teacher in Beijing, helping prospective college applicants with their test preparations. Many of my students are actually pushed by their anxious parents to the brink of collapse.

That such parents are willing to pay huge amounts to get their children admitted to a prestigious university in the United States is understandable. But unfortunately, many parents do not stop here. Instead, they "hover" over their children and teachers during the entire learning process, ready to give the most intense response to even the slightest sign of change in what they consider the right course for their children's success.

As a result, their children are disoriented and lost. How can the outcome be promising if their children don't have the inner drive to work harder? And you can well imagine the pressure that teachers face from the parents of such students.

Helicopter parents' demands and expectations are usually higher than both their children's and teachers' capacities to deliver. As a result, the three parties rarely get satisfactory results despite many Chinese students going abroad for higher studies. The students get upset, the teachers are accused of being incompetent, and the parents burn everyone involved with the fire in their chests.

There is nothing wrong in loving people close to us. But we have to draw a line at certain point before someone gets hurt.

FLATFISH84, from China Daily website

Readers' comments are welcome. Please send your e-mail to opinion@chinadaily.com.cn or letters@chinadaily.com.cn or to the individual columnists. China Daily reserves the right to edit all letters. Thank you.

Most Viewed Today's Top News