Is Helicopter Parenting Affecting Your Child’s Progress?

Is Helicopter Parenting Affecting Your Child’s Progress?

Growth mindset What's new?

What is Helicopter Parenting?

Helicopter parenting might not be a term you’re particularly familiar with, but you are probably familiar with the type of parent it refers to – you might even be guilty of being one yourself to some degree! Helicopter parenting is a term that was coined by teenagers who likened their parents to helicopters ‘hovering’ over them. It generally refers to the type of parent who is overly focused on their child in a way that moves from parental interest or concern to over-controlling, overprotective and over-perfecting behaviour – particularly in an educational context.

A helicopter parent will typically take control of tasks in their child’s life that they are more than capable of doing on their own, be overly engaged in their school work and social time, and allow them very little opportunity to learn, grow and develop independence on their own terms.


What have studies shown about how this type of parenting impacts young people?

As you can probably imagine, this style of parenting can have many short and long term consequences on the overall wellbeing of children and young people. Young people thrive when they have the opportunity to develop individualism, independence and responsibility without it being dictated to them by a pushy parent. A 2013 study involving 297 students published in the ‘Journal of Child & Family studies’ found that college students with helicopter parents felt significantly more depressed, less satisfied in life and attributed their decrease in wellbeing to a violation of ‘basic psychological needs for autonomy and competence.’

Other studies and research have reported other impacts on the long term wellbeing of young people including;

  • Decreased confidence and self esteem
  • Underdeveloped coping skills and lack of coping strategies in times of stress
  • Increased anxiety
  • An unreasonable sense of entitlement
  • Underdeveloped life skills

A low grade, not making the team, or not getting a certain job can appear disastrous to a parent, but Dr. Deborah Gilboa, founder of, ascertains that “many of the consequences parents are trying to prevent–unhappiness, struggle, not excelling, working hard – are great teachers for kids.” Transitioning from the world of education to university or the world of work can be a tricky path to navigate for a lot of young people. Confidence, self-esteem, coping skills and a level head are all valuable qualities that will make a young person successful during this transition. So it would seem that Helicopter Parenting needs to be identified, addressed and corrected to ensure your child has the best chance of making it on their own.


How can you prevent doing this?

Just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with taking an interest in your child’s life, making sure you are aware of what they’re doing, what their plans for their life are and encouraging them to communicate with you so you can best support them with achieving their goals. Helicopter parenting is an extreme type of parenting where the child’s ideas, desires and interests aren’t listened to or explored.

Parenting is a tricky role to navigate in itself, and nurturing your child’s independence so they can develop into a confident and capable adult is one of the clear aims many parents will cite when asked why they act the way they do.

Dr. Gilboa offers this advice – “As parents, we have a very difficult job. We need to keep one eye on our children now and one eye on the adults we are trying to raise. Getting them from here to there involves some suffering, for our kids as well as for us.” This means sometimes having to let our children struggle, allowing them to experience disappointment and failure, and when this happens, helping them to work through it and develop the skills, resilience and confidence to bounce back. It means letting your children do tasks that they are physically and mentally capable of doing. Making your 3-year-old’s bed isn’t hovering: Making your 13-year-old’s bed is.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides a range of courses and workshops.  Our growth mindset workshop focuses on helping young people and parents have a full understanding of growth mindset and how to apply this in their everyday lives.  To find out more about the growth mindset workshop, click on the following link: 


Do You Have a Growth Mindset and Why Does That Even Matter?

Do You Have a Growth Mindset and Why Does That Even Matter?

Growth mindset

A growth Mindset is something you’ll hear quite often in schools at the moment, and it’s about time!

Professor Carol Dweck establishes that individuals have two types of Mindset: a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset.

Individuals with a Fixed Mindset struggle more as time goes on and often get held back by anxiety and stress. They believe that their abilities, talents and intelligence are fixed. Therefore, if they fail at a task, they are incapable and should never try again.

A Growth Mindset is where an individual believes (or is educated to believe) that their talents can be developed. They believe it can be acquired through hard work, motivation, good learning strategies and constructive input from others. Similarly, they believe that their abilities grow through trying new things. They also tend to see failure as an uncomfortable but a valuable experience for growth.

A Growth Mindset is all the more important in a school culture that seems primarily based on rigid testing and re-testing children to determine their ‘ability’.

How do you know if you have a Growth Mindset?

It’s more than just having a positive outlook or being open-minded. You have to actively participate in a Growth Mindset and participate in ‘deliberate practice’. This is the process of acknowledging a skill or talent you have/want and deliberating, working to improve it, seeking feedback and finding ways of building that skill.

Use opening questioning – think ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ – to learn from the experience and help you move forward. It’s about being open to new opportunities even if you fail.

Why does that even matter?

It’s not just schools that are utilizing the idea of a Growth Mindset for empowering their students – businesses and employers are too, and based on the types of attributes employers vote the most favourable in recruits, it would seem to demonstrate a Growth Mindset can set you up for future success too.

With keywords like ‘Committed’, ‘Innovative’ and ‘Resilient’ ranking the highest amongst attributes employers want to see and hear from new recruits – do you think the Fixed or Growth Mindset tends to lend itself more to these?

Awareness of a Growth Mindset is also important for recognizing businesses and employers who value this in their work environments. When companies embrace Growth Mindset, employees feel far more empowered and committed. They also receive greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation than companies that follow a Fixed Mindset way of thinking – who believe in attracting and retaining talent over upskilling and empowering existing employees to become better staff and colleagues.

Can you change your Mindset?

Absolutely! Mindset i  changeable, but it does take conscious thought and action to develop. As Profes or Dweck herself says: “Mindsets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. Knowing the two mindsets, you can start thinking and reacting in new ways.”

GT Scholars has a workshop that can help young people to understand a growth mindset and use it to achieve excellent grades at school.  To sign up for the workshop, click on the following link:

Will Private Tuition benefit my Child?

Will Private Tuition benefit my Child?

Growth mindset Private tutoring What's new?

When it comes to private tuition, there’s no “one size fits all’ or blanket consensus that it will definitely benefit every child. It comes down the individual child, their goals and how private tuition might help them achieve these.

Private tuition can be a great way to support your child if they are struggling with a certain subject, need some one-to-one support to improve their study skills overall, or have a big exam coming up (perhaps an entrance exam or GCSE/A-Level that will qualify them for further studies). Private tuition can also help stretch and challenge a child in an area where they might already be excelling that can’t be provided in their mainstream school.

It’s worth considering the reason behind seeking private tuition to start with – is it longer term support you and your child are seeking, or short term to help them with an exam? Some private tuition takes place in centres, in small groups or one-to-one sessions, and other tutors provide the option of coming to your home. Also consider the approach of tuition, tutors will adopt different methods and a good tutor will have a few they use depending on the child and their preferred way of learning. Talking to your child about how they enjoy learning and what they feel is the best way for them to engage with learning is a great starting point.

Having worked in a private tuition centre, I can say it’s also really important to speak with your child before you commit them to additional tuition and make sure they’re included in the decision. Private tuition for a child who isn’t engaged or feeling pushed into something they don’t want to do won’t be beneficial for them. I’ve seen private tuition work best when the child is motivated by why they’re there and it’s wonderful to see their confidence grow through the sessions.

It’s also worth noting the wonderful social aspect of tuition centres. For many young children, feeling behind in their work or grades is a real confidence knock, especially if they feel they’re the only one who’s behind in their class. Being around other children who feel the same as them can be a real confidence boost in itself, and help them get over that feeling ‘it’s just me’. I’ve seen young children build a really supportive and encouraging atmosphere, which is wonderful to see.

Will Private Tuition benefit my child?

It might be worth looking into private tuition if:

  • Their grades or work is lower than expected and they aren’t feeling supported in school
  • They want support in building their confidence to pass an important exam
  • Your child wants to focus on a particular subject area – either to boost their confidence or stretch their abilities
  • They may have had some time out of school and need support catching up

Many tuition centres offer open days and trial sessions so your child can get a feel for the tutors and the centre before you commit to a full paid programme. It also gives you the chance to ask any questions and find out a bit more about what’s on offer. A good centre or tutor will tailor their delivery to your child and their goals, so it’s worth taking your time over this important decision and exploring all the options.

The GT Scholars Programme is not just a tutoring programme – it combines tutoring sessions with mentoring sessions, enrichment days and skill-building days.  The aim of all of these is to help young people gain the skills, the strategies and support they need to get top grades, get into top universities or enter competitive careers.  To find out more, click here:



7 Gifts and Talents You May Not Realise Your Child Has

7 Gifts and Talents You May Not Realise Your Child Has


Sometimes we get so focused on the measurements of talent and success – high grades, participation in sports, and winning competitions. We often forget our children have several natural gifts and talents that will help them succeed in school and beyond.

GT Scholars works with young people to help them achieve their potential, and this also means identifying the talents children already have and helping them to realise how gifted they are. Read more about how we help gifted and talented teens succeed here

So, what are some of the natural gifts and talents of young children that you as a parent can nurture now to support their future success in the world of work and life in general?

1. Adaptability

In an ever-changing and fast-paced world, adaptability is a vital talent for children to have and develop. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about dealing with adversity but helping them to create a good understanding that things change, sometimes unexpectedly, and it’s essential to continue working to their best ability regardless.

2. Perseverance

Sometimes things don’t go as we plan, and it’s important not to let these things stop us from achieving our goals. Children tend to bounce back quickly from setbacks, and this is a positive natural gift of theirs. Continuing to teach children to embrace their setbacks as opportunities to grow and develop helps them build the mindset of perseverance to get on in life and work.

3. Honesty

Children are naturally honest and open with how they engage with the world. However, at some point, they start to lose this – possibly due to a fear of failure or letting people vital to them down. Encouraging your children to be honest in a proactive way will help them build positive communication skills around the efforts and abilities employers seek.

4. Enthusiasm

Someone who can talk positively about themselves, why they want to do something and who gets excited about doing new things and taking on new challenges always stands out from the crowd. Children are naturally enthusiastic about most things, so keep encouraging this, especially when embracing new situations.

5. Inquisitive

Taking an interest, asking questions, and having positive opinions all fall under this umbrella – another natural gift most children have! Encouraging children to be inquisitive also helps them build their communication skills and confidence around idea sharing – all things employers love!

6. Teamwork

Children like engaging with each other, learning about and supporting each other. Teamwork comes naturally to children. Teamwork is easily encouraged – through team projects, team sports, or nurturing their natural urge to work with their peers.

7. Entrepreneurship

Children have innate creativity and ideas they love to work on – through play or other creative pursuits. Believe it or not, this can quickly develop into entrepreneurial skills. Encouraging them to pursue their ideas and asking them questions (think ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions to help develop their thinking) will help this gift bloom.

This list is not exhaustive, and I’m sure the more you engage with your children, the more you’ll start to recognise their talents and gifts and that you can encourage them to keep developing.

The GT Scholars programme aims to help young people develop an intrinsic motivation for learning. We teach young people how to become better learners to attain excellent grades across all subjects.

Why not subscribe to ‘In the Know’? This is our weekly newsletter for parents. You’ll get updates on events and academic and career opportunities for 11-16-year-olds. Click here to subscribe:


It’s never too early to teach young people about careers

It’s never too early to teach young people about careers


How young is too young to start encouraging your child to think about their future career?

There is no age limit, and it’s never too soon to introduce your child to the broader world of careers that their academic achievements can lead them into!

This isn’t about dictating a specific career path to your child or putting pressure on them to make decisions now, but about opening them up to the potential of future career opportunities and where a strong background of academic achievement can take them.

Why is this important?

There is a tendency in schools to leave career guidance and employability development to the end of secondary education. While this might make sense as it’s when they start looking at whether they want to go to university or get a job, young people have so many decisions to make around this time as it is. They’re now also expected only just to start thinking about their future and make academic decisions based on this.

By introducing careers early on with your child, you give them a chance to start building their ideas and opinions, asking questions and finding out information about where they want to go in life. When it comes to those essential academic decisions, they already have a head start as they build their selected studies around a career goal (or goals) they have in mind.

Raising Aspirations

By introducing your child to different options early on, you allow them to delve a bit deeper into industries they might like. Where they have the chance to interact with other professionals, they can learn about all sorts of roles or career paths they might not otherwise have found out existed until much later in life.

When teaching young people about careers, the key thing is to provide them with different ways of engaging with careers and career professionals to help them develop the confidence to make those decisions later in their academic life. Knowing the other parts of a specific career path can also help children feel motivated to engage with their learning and aim for higher attainment, as they have a developed understanding of the end goal – their desired career.

How We Help

GT Scholars introduces careers in a fun and exciting ways – through Careers Fairs, industry-related advice and events, and sourcing relevant opportunities (see our blog for more!). We know that children are never too young to learn about where their learning can take them, and a good understanding of their options will only help to inspire, motivate and boost confidence.

The GT Scholars programme aims to help young people develop an intrinsic motivation for learning. We teach young people how to become better learners to attain excellent grades across all subjects.

Why not subscribe to ‘In the Know’? This is our weekly newsletter for parents. You’ll get updates on events and academic and career opportunities for 11-16-year-olds. Click here to subscribe: