5 reasons helicopter parents are sabotaging career prospects

Helicopter parent

Noun, informal

A parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children.


Although helicopter parents have good intentions, more often than not they hinder the recruitment process for their children. The incessant hovering over their child leads to young adults who struggle to function at the interview stage and land a job.

Helicopter parents may think that they’re doing what’s best by taking a firm grasp of the reins but instead, they’re sabotaging their child’s chance at success.

As recruitment specialists, we (unfortunately) see a fair few helicopter parents come through our doors. Usually with a sullen looking teenager lurking two steps behind them. Although we applaud your dedication to helping your child begin their career, we urge you to consider these five reasons you are making your child unemployable.


  1. Low confidence and self-esteem

We cannot count the number of times we’ve directed a question to a fresh-faced teen ready to embark on their career only to find mum or dad (usually mum, sorry) answering for them. Unless you’re planning a ventriloquist act, please let your child speak for themselves.

By answering for them, you are subconsciously communicating that you don’t trust your child to get a job on their own. This will lead to low confidence which can cause them to feel even more nervous if they get selected for an interview.


  1. Undeveloped coping skills

Helicopter parenting can make your child feel less competent in dealing with stresses on their own. Disappointment, loss and failure are inevitable aspects of life which you cannot shield from your child forever.

Young people need to develop frustration tolerance. They need to know that life isn’t always fair. Heck, its character building if nothing else. Without this important attribute, young people will begin their working life at a disadvantage.


  1. Increased anxiety

Various studies have shown that overparenting is associated with higher levels of anxiety and other negative mental health symptoms. At a time where young adults are already learning to cope with their found responsibilities, anxiety can be a barrier to finding and maintaining work.

Although interviewers will expect a certain level of nervousness, they are unlikely to choose someone who comes across as highly anxious over someone who comes across as level-headed.


  1. Sense of entitlement

Remember Verruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Do you want your offspring to be that child? Well, helicopter parents are at risk of creating a sense of entitlement in their child by taking on all of their worries.

If you’re always the one adjusting your child’s social and academic lives then you may find your child becomes accustomed to always having their way and will, therefore, struggle when it comes to the realities of the working world.


  1. Undeveloped life skills

By always being the one to clear plates, launder clothes and taking charge of their career, you are preventing your child from mastering these skill themselves. Yes, it’s great to be hands-on and use your life experience to help them get ahead, however, instead of doing everything for your teen, you should try to encourage them to take the initiative themselves.

It’s officially time to let go of the reins and let your child discover their true potential by themselves. (With you supporting from the sidelines because, let’s face it, no matter how old they get, they’ll always need you to some degree.)


If your teenager is ready to embark on a career, direct them to our website where we have plenty of job vacancies for school leavers. Or alternatively, they can get in touch with our friendly team by calling 614841 or emailing info@ambitions.co.im.