Moms, if you think you’re being helpful by talking to your adult child's college professor about possible extra-credit assignments, think again. What you're actually doing is being a helicopter parent--someone who constantly hovers over her kids' academic and social life. According to a feature on TIME, this type of parenting style may lead your child toward depression.

Lead study author Holly Schiffrin, a psychology professor from the University of Mary Washington in the US, and her team, worked with 297 college-age young adults who were asked about their parents’ involvement in their academic and social lives. The volunteers were also questioned based on the “self-determination theory,” which states that a person needs three things in order to be happy: they must feel autonomous, competent, and connected with others.

Schiffrin explains, “These parents have the best intentions. They are being involved to help their child be successful. But as we know from the previous study, that high level of involvement is stressful for parents and it is not benefiting the kids. It’s actually harming them.”

Letting a child go isn’t just allowing her to go out of the house on her own--it means trusting her enough to be okay even if she doesn’t text you every three hours or so. It also means letting her making her own life decisions and allowing her to taste failure once in a while without you trying to bail her out. Letting her gain her own strength from a wealth of experience won’t only make her a better person, but also make you a more satisfied parent.

(Photo by Helton Teixeira via Flickr Creative Commons)

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