I’m calling it “helicopter dad.” As dads, good ones at least, we want the best for our kids. We want to protect them, for them to do well in school and start off on good footing so that, if we’re honest, they have a better chance of getting ahead of all the other kids. Because of this, sometimes we get a little too involved.


A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.
—Matthew 4:21-22


We’ve all seen the helicopter dad

We’ve all seen it, the disgruntled dad in the stands who yells at the coaches who are clearly morons who have no idea what they’re doing because his kid isn’t getting enough playing time or is in the wrong position.

Sometimes the dads make their way into the dugout or onto the field. And it’s not only sports. I’ve walked around enough elementary science fairs to notice projects that NASA engineers would have difficulty assembling. I don’t care how smart your third grader is, he did not build that functioning combustion engine from PVC pipes, rubber bands, and LEGOS all on his own. He just didn’t!

The term “helicopter parent” became popular not too long ago to describe moms and dads with an excessive interest in the lives of their child. How is it possible to take too much interest in my own kids? I’m glad you asked. When we begin to take on too much responsibility for our children’s successes and failures it damages the child’s development. They never fully learn how to deal with consequences, whether positive or negative, on their own, because they’ve never had to.


Here’s how the helicopter dad does more damage than good:

The helicopter dad takes away his child’s independence.

One of the ways we can gauge how successful we’ve been as a dad is how well our kids can function without us.

  • How do they deal with hardships?
  • Overcome adversity?
  • What do