How to tell if you're a 'helicopter parent' or not

parenting 20/06/2018

Helicopter parents who hover around their kids at all times could be doing their children actual harm, a new study has found.

We've all seen them in the playground, the backyard, and the beach watching over every move.

A new study from US and Swiss scientists says interfering with kids' play at the age of two can cause serious damage and lead to behavioural and emotional difficulties later in life.

Neuroscience educator Nathan Wallis says if parents seek to control their kids when they're little, those children grow up to be not very resilient.

"In the first year of life you're supposed to be a helicopter parent - you're supposed to be highly responsive.

"It's when the kid needs to start risk-taking in the twos that they have to be allowed to take some risks."

However, Mr Wallis says while it's an issue for those parents who are doing it, it's not a huge issue for Kiwi parents in general.

"When you look at our statistics, us being overprotective is not the issue our children face," he said.

"We have the third-highest rate of child abuse in the developed world [and] the highest rate of teenage suicide in the developed world."

He says the statistics suggest New Zealand's children are suffering from neglectful parents, rather than overbearing ones.