Toxic Parents vs. Helicopter Parents

Every student who heads to college is a product of the family in which they were raised. The Washington Post sheds some interesting light on the broad spectrum of parental practices in this article comparing toxic parents to helicopter parents.

While you probably have already heard about ultra-interventionist ‘helicopter parents’, how do you know if someone is a toxic parent? According to the article, if you answer True to any of the following statements:

  • Kids are going to drink anyway, so they might as well do it at home, under adult supervision
  • Restricting teenagers makes no sense when they’ll be on their own in college soon enough
  • You’d rather be your child’s friend than an authority figure

With kids coming to college from both ends of the family spectrum, it is not a shock that many of them ‘go off the deep end’ at school. Those raised by ‘helicopter parents’ use their freedom to explore what their parents previously forbid. Those raised by ‘toxic parents’ just continue to expand the practices that they were already indulging in during high school.

The freedom students experience in college is a great parallel to the freedom we, as believers, have in Christ. That freedom can be exploited in a quest for sinful pleasure or it can be leveraged to follow harder after Christ. The freedom we have in Christ is not just a freedom from sin but a freedom for righteousness.


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