‘Helicopter parents are creating a generation that’s afraid to fail’

“Helicopter parents” who micromanage their children’s lives risk putting them under intense pressure and creating a generation that is afraid to fail, a schools guide warned today. This is from the Evening Standard…

Parents who “hover” over their  children and timetable every moment of their day with extra lessons and after-school clubs should take a step back when they become teenagers.

Children who do not learn to deal  with failure may not be able to cope with the knocks and defeats of adulthood, the Good Schools Guide’s latest newsletter to parents warns.

“If we drive our children to define themselves only by success, how will they deal with the inevitable setbacks that come with adulthood?” the guide asks. “Are we creating a generation who won’t have a go at something new for fear of failing?”

High-achieving all-girls’ schools, which many students sail through without facing any major disappointments, are beginning to encourage students to take more risks. Oxford High School for Girls plans to introduce a maths test next year for pupils aged 11 in which it is impossible to get 100 per cent in a bid to stop pupils becoming obsessed with being “little Miss Perfect”.

…The Good Schools Guide’s newsletter states: “Somewhere around year nine, just as children start to assert their own independence, attentive parenting can mutate into undue pressure. Parents are also strongly advised to step back and allow children to make their own subject choices at GCSE and beyond.

“And what happens once those top A-levels have been achieved? Students who were micro-managed often  struggle with independent study at university.”

More at:  ‘Helicopter parents are creating a generation that’s afraid to fail’

Do you witness this kind of micro-managing of children by parents? What impact do you think it is having and, if appropriate, what can be done to discourage it? Please share your thoughts in the comments or on twitter… 

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Categories: Parenting.


  1. McGDJ

    SchoolsImprove the greatest lessons in life are learned when we fail. Competitiveness is as much about learning to lose as anything else.

  2. sharpeleven

    McGDJ SchoolsImprove Is school appropriate place for flat out competitiveness ? Collaboration, cooperation important for all.

  3. sharpeleven

    McGDJ Of course. Definitely on the sports field. Not sure about labelling young children as “losers” though.

  4. McGDJ

    sharpeleven SchoolsImprove never said that – said it was important to learn how to lose i.e. that not succeeding is not end if the world

  5. sharpeleven

    McGDJ I agree with you completely. There are forces at work in the land who’d have all pupils/teachers competing all the time. #Gove

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