There's a type of parents who worry too much about what bad may happen to their children. Thinking that they are preventing some possible evil, they may be constantly spying on their children, or secretly searching their things and interfering in their lives without the kids' knowing it. As for their other adult worries in comparison with ordinary people, they can't be called worrywarts.

So I'm in search for a single word—in case there is one in English— to describe those parents, both regarding their gender and disregarding it. In my native language, there are not the one-word equivalents I can think of to use a dictionary.

Maybe there is also a saying or a slang expression for such parents and for what they are doing to "guard" their children in that way?

  • 3
    The most common word is the one used in the Oxford dictionary definition of helicopter parents, cited by Sarriesfan, overprotective. Feb 11, 2017 at 16:00
  • @TRomano: The most common... So there are some others, less common? I wish someone could suggest them..
    – Victor B.
    Feb 11, 2017 at 16:04
  • 1
    LINK TO GOOGLE SEARCH I think 'helicopter parenting' is the only way I've heard overprotective used as a slang expression.
    – WRX
    Feb 11, 2017 at 16:21
  • @WillowRex - Amen!
    – Victor B.
    Feb 11, 2017 at 16:39
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    It is said of such parents that they are always hovering over their children, as we see in the Oxford definition. Feb 11, 2017 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


A slang expression for parents who behave in such a way is Helicopter Parents To quote the Oxford Dictionary definition.

A parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children

As has been suggested it is worth noting this is quite a recent inclusion into usage.

  • It should be pointed out that there are many people who wouldn't be familiar with this, as it is fairly new on the scene, about 20 years or so. Feb 11, 2017 at 16:49

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