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Helicopter Mom: How to Calmly Deal with a Mom Who Cares Too Much

Having supportive parents is a blessing. But, what happens when their support becomes obsessive and intrusive and you’re dealing with a helicopter mom?

Helicopter Mom

Our parents are our greatest support system. They watched us grow up, changed our diapers, wiped our tears and dealt with us when we were complete assholes. So, of course, their bond with us is stronger than any other. But sometimes, the moments where a parent is supposed to back off and let us grow doesn’t happen. Welcome to the world of helicopter mom.

Helicopter moms are parents of mostly high school and college students, but let’s not discriminate, their kids can be forty-years-old. These parents essentially helicopter over their kids. They’re overly involved in the child’s life, making decisions that their child is capable of making.

How to deal with a helicopter mom

Though helicopter dads exist, usually, moms take over this area of expertise. Which, on one hand, you need to understand. They carried you for nine months, they raised you, so they’re emotionally connected to you. The things they used to help you with, well, you no longer need their help.

So, a helicopter mom comes from the inability to let go and understand that their kids no longer need the help they once needed. Trust me, I’m not a parent, but I feel that we’ll all experience this struggle with letting go when we have kids. What you need to do is learn how to deal with a helicopter mom and land the helicopter safely.

#1 You need to be empathetic. Listen, I know you want your independence but if you’re going to try to understand her point of view, this isn’t going to work. And honestly, if you’re going to have a tantrum before you even sit down with her, well, I get why she’s a helicopter mom. You’re immature.

So, if you’re trying for more freedom, then act like an adult. Try to understand why she’s acting the way she is: she’s concerned about you. She’s having a problem understanding that you’re capable to do things on your own. It’s that simple. [Read: What it means to take control of your life]

#2 No need to get defensive. This is the first thing that you’re going to want to do. I know you feel suffocated, but you cannot become defensive. You’re going to want to defend your right to freedom, I get it, but this only starts an argument.

You need to come into this conversation understanding her point of view and you have to be willing to talk. There’s nothing to fight about, this is a conversation about you growing up.

#3 Don’t think she has motives. Your mom isn’t trying to sabotage your life. If anything, she wants you to have a better life than she had growing up. She wants everything you want, she’s just not able to let go. This is what so many people feel when they have a helicopter mom. They think, “she’s trying to ruin my life,” and she’s not, honestly.

She’s just worried about you. I mean, have you seen what’s happening around the world? I don’t blame her for freaking out. So, get that whole “my mom is trying to ruin my life” idea of out your head. [Read: 10 crucial steps to setting boundaries]

#4 Be transparent with her. If you want her to understand your point of view, you need to be transparent with her. If she gives you some space to go out with your friends, be open with her. If you’re secretive, this only makes her more worried about you. Thus, continue being a helicopter mom. If you’re in your teens, it can be uncomfortable being transparent with your mom, but as you get older, you’ll see that it’s necessary if you want to have a good relationship with her.

#5 Practice honesty. You need to be honest with her. When you sit down with her to talk about this, you really need to tell her how you feel. I know it’s uncomfortable and scary, but if you’re not honest, she’ll continue to do what she’s doing.

Tell her how you really feel and what you need her to do. If you don’t want her to call you eight times a day, express that and tell her how this action makes you feel. She’s your mom, she’s not someone who’s out to get you. You don’t have to lie.

#6 Compromise with her. She’s lived a longer life than you so she’s seen things, trust me on that. You think you know, but really, you have no idea. I’m saying that now at 26, I have no experience compared to my mom. So, her advice may come from fear, but it also comes from experience.

If you come to her with a need, know that you’re going to have to compromise. Sure, it may not be the ideal outcome, but this shows her that you’re mature and you consider her life experience. Trust me, sometimes parents aren’t wrong. Compromise with her to where she’s comfortable and you get what you want.

#7 Do not go against what you believe in. If you really want something, you cannot give in to her. She may not like what you’re doing. For example, going to college out of state or traveling, but you need to show her that you’re growing up. So, though you should compromise with her, make sure that at the end of the day, you do complete your goal. I mean, as long as it’s healthy and positive. If not, listen to your mother.

#8 Show her you’re capable of doing things on your own. If your mom doesn’t let you feed the dog because you forget, well, show her that you’re capable of feeding your dog. Okay, she may be unable to let go because she doesn’t want to admit to herself that she’s not needed like she once was.

But you probably also showed her at some point that you’re not responsible enough to carry out certain tasks. So, prove her wrong. [Read: 15 mature ways to grow up and behave like an adult]

#9 Show her your plan. If you want to go traveling for a month or go to school out of state, you need to show her you’re serious. Show her a transparent and well-thought out plan. She needs to see you’re capable of doing this. Show her you’ve thought about your goals and that you want to complete them. Listen to what she has to say and negotiate with her.

#10 Ease your mom into it. So, if she agrees to let you do some things on your own, you cannot just jump into it. Ease her into the new lifestyle that she’ll be living.

If she expanded your curfew to 11 pm, stick to that for a while. Get her used to you staying out later. After a couple months, when she sees you’re responsible, then ask for an extension on your curfew. Do you get where I’m going with this? [Read: 30 ways helicopter parents can ruin their children’s lives]

#11 Make sure she’s listening. This may come as a shock to her, so she may zone out or maybe start to ramble on about her emotions. When you speak, you need to make sure she’s actively listening. If not, everything you say will go in one ear and out the other. So, when you speak to her, remove all distractions. Also, don’t text during this conversation, leave your phone alone.

#12 Show your confidence. You need to be confident. If your mom senses any fear in your voice or fear in what you want to do, she’ll question it. For example, I wanted to go to Istanbul, I was hesitant to tell my parents. My dad right away picked up on it and used that hesitation against me.

So, you need to approach a subject with confidence, but also with open-ears. If you’re cocky and unable to compromise, you’re going to have a problem. [Read: 10 subtle body language moves to appear more confident]

#13 Be patient. This isn’t going to happen overnight. In fact, you probably have some struggles with your mom. It’s a new concept for her, so it’s going to take her some time and some reminding that she needs to give you some space. But don’t get mad when she relapses into her helicopter mode, just remind her of the boundaries.

[Read: 13 mature ways to get overprotective parents to back off]

Now that you know how to deal with your helicopter mom, why not sit down with her and have a coffee. Really talk with her. You two need to understand each other and create a plan together.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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