Newswise — AMES, Iowa – Thomas Schofield, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University, says helicopter parenting is bad for children. He can discuss ways for parents to support their child’s academic performance and identify if they’re a helicopter parent, in response to a recent study from the National University of Singapore.

According to the study, children of pushy parents are more prone to “depression and high self-critical tendencies.” How do you know if you’re a helicopter parent? Think about how you view your child’s performance in school or sports. Schofield says helicopter parents tend to look at “how well my child is performing for me” rather than looking at how their child is functioning in terms of his or her emotions and self-concept.

“Parents are pushy if their children feel anxiety about disappointing them, or depression at having disappointed them. All children want to please their parents, and some pushing is developmentally appropriate, but excessive behavioral control leads to children stressing about not doing well enough.

“In the short term it may lead to things that look like healthy striving and excelling, but they are toxic variants of striving and excelling based on a toxic foundation of fear that corrodes children from the inside,” Schofield said.

Children who are anxious, depressed or unsure of themselves without parental guidance likely have pushy parents, he added. The best way to support a child’s performance is balance. Schofield says emphasis on a child’s academic success should be matched by parent’s emphasis on a child’s: •Development of independence•Development of positive self-concept•Development of social competence •Increasing exploration of the world

Schofield, who studies the effects of harsh parenting, can discuss why helicopter parents don’t value or dismiss these qualities. His recent study shows harsh parenting may increase a child’s risk for poor physical health and obesity as they get older.

To arrange an interview, you can contact Schofield directly at 530-601-1744 or [email protected]. Angie Hunt in the ISU News Service office, 515-294-8986 or [email protected], can also assist with interview requests.