By Sadie Fugate
According to pop culture, movies, TV shows, and music, high school is supposed to be a time of newfound freedom and revelation for young adolescents. It is supposed to be a time where young adults learn how to reason on their own and learn how to be responsible for their own actions. With the advancement of technology and the rise of the “helicopter parent,” this essential rite of passage is becoming a lot more challenging to obtain.
Helicopter parenting revolves around the idea of knowing where the teenager is at all times and what he/she is doing. It has become a largely common practice by more modern parents with the help of apps like Life360 and tracker devices on teen drivers cars. With these devices, parents are able to see the fastest speed the child drove, how many times they stopped or accelerated too fast, along with constantly being able to view the teenager’s location.
Instead of letting a teenager learn to live on their own in preparation for life after high school, helicopter parents still treat their children as though they are of younger age, making sure they are always where they need to be and scheduling things for them while the teen is fully capable of doing things on their own. This can be detrimental to those adolescents who plan to leave home after high school and pursue college or a career on their own. Their ability to fend themselves could be significantly less than those who did not constantly have a parent at their heels.
I believe that a parent falling down this technological abyss of helicopter parenting should find ways to develop trust with their teenager. Instead of tracking the every move of their child, a parent could take tiny steps towards only getting on the app in case of emergency or getting rid of the app in full.
A teenager dealing with this type of parenting can experience major frustration and a feeling of betrayal towards their parents. Although it can be hard to cope with this kind of parenting, the parent is more than likely acting in this manner in order to protect their child to the best of their abilities, which is something that the teenager should keep in mind before they develop any grudges.
All in all, as good as it seems to make sure a teenager is safe and sound at all times, it seems as though it could do more harm than good. Adolescence is a time for learning, growth, and responsibility, which is nearly impossible to achieve without the lessening of parental constraints.