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20th Apr 2018

Why the term ‘Hyper Parenting’ is making me cringe

Sharyn Hayden

I am of a generation who isn’t really down with all the labelling.

I never wanted to be a ‘Ms’ or a ‘Mrs’, I didn’t want to be ‘straight’ or ‘middle class’, ‘home owner’ or even ‘broad shouldered’ (who decided we all needed a body type?!).

I didn’t want anyone to describe me in any terms other than ‘nice person’, ‘good fun’, ‘would bail you out of trouble if you needed her to’ – you know, as a sound human of the universe.


And now, as a mum, I’m not really into all the parenting ‘boxes’ either.

Why do we have to be pigeon-holed as ‘helicopter parents’, ‘free range parents’ or – my latest bugbear –  ‘hyper parents’?

Surely if we have in mind to be great parents to our kids which includes doing the best we can in terms of love, personal, physical and social development, education, nutrition and exercise, fun and quality time spent together, then we are simply ‘A Good Parent’, no?


I read an article about Hyper Parents recently, and a quote from Eva Millet, the author of a book by the same name, caught my eye.

“Hyper-parenting is a phenomenon characterized by excessive attention to children. Parents understand that to be good parents, they must be aware of their children in an exaggerated way, solving their problems, anticipating them and doing things for them. Instead of raising and educating children, we seem to be managing them.”

I can’t tell you how much this irks me.

‘Excessive attention to children’ – like, are we for real here?


Most parents, whether working inside or outside the home, feel guilty that they don’t spend enough time giving their kid’s attention.

Hell, even when I AM giving my kids attention, I worry that I’m not giving them enough attention, you know?

I worry that they’ll grow up way too quickly and I will have missed the opportunity to give them the kind of attention that I can give them now, while they are little kids.

I can never sit them on my lap, with their little arms around my neck, and hug them – enough.

I can never kiss their cute little cheeks, and noses and forehead, over and over – enough.


I can never hold their hands while we walk on the beach and look for crabs and pirate treasure – enough.

And I can never ‘manage them’, by helping to solve their problems or anticipating possible hurdles along their paths and helping make it as enjoyable a journey for them as possible – enough.

Isn’t giving kids as much love and attention as possible, kind of the point of parenting?

Oh wait – it would appear that I AM a Hyper Parent.

Kill me now.

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