When divorced parents find themselves seeing only half as much of their kids (or less) as when they were together, it can bring out controlling behavior. Some become what are known as “helicopter parents.” These are parents who are overprotective and overly involved in their children’s lives. This can leave children anxious, dependent and insecure about their own judgment and ability to take care of themselves as they get older.
A parent who fears they’re losing control over their child may begin taking an interest in things like orthodontist appointments, tennis lessons and homework assignments. Two helicopter parents (especially those at odds with their co-parent) can be a nightmare for a child.
How having a judge involved can encourage helicopter parenting
If parents can’t work out a custody agreement on their own and a judge has to make the custody decision, that can only further encourage helicopter parenting. Parents (often the ones who have been less involved in their kids’ lives) want to show that they spend as much time as possible with their child and deserve more custody than their co-parent wants them to have.
Now, more than in the past, judges are looking at the quality of time that parents spend with their kids rather than just the quantity. Judges are more likely to have a problem with a parent who is regularly late for parenting exchanges or forgets when it’s their day to pick their child up from school.
Transitioning from a married parent to a divorced one isn’t easy for anyone. If you’re concerned about how it’s affected your parenting, it might be worthwhile to seek counseling. If your co-parent won’t participate with you, getting some help on your own can still benefit you and your child. This should help you feel more confident as you seek the parenting time you deserve.