Mendi Baron – What Is A Helicopter Parent And How Can It Affect Your Teen?

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As parents, you want the best for your children, and one part of that is to ensure that they are protected and never hurt. You don’t want to see them cry, or bleed, or break a bone, and that is entirely understandable. The issue with this desire, however, is when it is taken out of hand. You cannot and should not be there all the time for your child, especially as they start to grow up and begin to seek out their place in the world.

What is a Helicopter Parent?

A helicopter parent is one that is overprotective and feels the need to take care of every single problem in their child’s life. This overprotectiveness can result in saying no to them going out with their friends, and it can also exhibit as the parent taking care of all issues their child has. Fighting your child’s battles is not always the best solution. If they have misbehaved and then you interfere to get them out of detention, for example, you are not helping your child. You are showing them that there are no consequences.

How Can Helicopter Parenting Affect Your Teen?

Over protectiveness can produce two types of adults. One, an adult that does not feel confident in solving any of their own problems. Two, an adult that has no understanding of consequences and has little empathy because their parents always get them out of trouble.

Though you love them, not trusting them to take care of themselves and make their own decisions tell them one thing: that you don’t trust them. One of the worst effects of helicopter parents is that it creates nervous, unconfident adults who don’t believe they can do anything on their own.

Yes, it can be hard when parenting difficult teenage daughter, especially if it seems that all the decision she makes are the wrong ones. It can be just as difficult handling teenage son who parties, gets into fights, or turns to drugs.

The fact is that teenagers make dumb decisions all the time, but you are not responsible for stopping them. You are responsible for disciplining them. This is how you help them learn boundaries and test their independence. Dealing with difficult teens can feel like a losing battle, but having a rebellious child is actually better than a child that relies on you for everything.

You don’t want a daughter that needs help with everything. You don’t want a son that feels entitled to everything; you want him to learn boundaries and responsibility.

You are not there to block them from all consequences. You are there to raise them to make the right decisions on their own.

If you need to know how to handle teenagers, seek out help. You don’t have to go on the parenting journey alone, and sometimes the best solution is to face the issues head-on.

If your son or daughter is acting out and trying to rebel against your helicopter parenting in unhealthy ways, then visit one of our clinics. We work with entire families so that your teen has the best recovery and can move on to be a great, independent person on their own.


Mendi Baron LCSW FOUNDER/CEO

Mendi is a passionate advocate for teens and young adults in the fields of mental health and addiction. Baron creates programs to bring a unique approach to the treatment of adolescents and young adults who are struggling with a variety of emotional and behavioral disorders and substance abuse issues.

Clinically trained, Baron earned a BA with honors in psychology and social work at the University of Maryland and an MSW at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. His extensive experience as a therapist includes individual and group counseling for children, adolescents, and families in various settings.  Gaining insight and experience, he has worked at several treatment centers including the Chesapeake Center for Youth Development, the Carroll County Youth Services Bureau, Chabad Crisis Centers, and the Center for Discovery and Adolescent Change.

Before launching Ignite Teen Treatment, Mendi conceived and built, from the ground up, multiple successful, high end adolescent residential and outpatient programs in Los Angeles. Mendi has appeared on the Dr. Phil show, is regularly featured in mental health and addiction publications, and speaks around the country in person and on Tv/Radio on these topics. With his newest ventures, Mendi instills a rare blend of energy, creativity, and experience to the treatment of teens, young adults, and their families struggling with addiction and mental health issues. The son of a Rabbi, eldest of 11 children, is a part-time rock musician, boxer, cantor, and father of three.

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