London - Mothers who micro-manage their children may think they are being helpful – but researchers have bad news for so-called "helicopter parents".
Getting too involved with a child’s homework can make them less driven at school, a study found. The scientists said this is because pushy parents often offer help when it’s not needed.
The research, posing a series of questions to the mothers and teachers of 365 children, found pupils with mothers like this were less persistent and more easily distracted in class. The University of Eastern Finland team suggested helicopter parents, so-called for their "hovering", may make children doubt their own abilities.
Dr Jaana Viljaranta, lead author of the study in the journal Learning and Instruction, said: "Too much help when it is not needed or wanted can lead to diminished feelings of capability and lead the child to act less persistently in school tasks.
"One possible explanation is that when the mother gives her child an opportunity to do homework autonomously, the mother also sends out a message that she believes in the child’s skills and capabilities."