Are You a ‘Drone Parent’? 5 Ways to Tell

hand-held video baby monitor

Helicopter parenting is so passé. The new generation of moms and dads is practicing a kind that’s much more stealth. Dubbed “drone parenting,” it’s less about hovering over your children in person and more about doing it remotely — observing your kids from afar, often with the help of creepy Big Brother-style technology. Drone parents will periodically swoop in to intervene when they think it’s necessary, frequently making a big, dramatic scene in the process.

So are you a drone parent? Here are five ways to tell.

1. You have a wireless baby monitor you can check on your smartphone. If the old-fashioned baby monitors that resemble 1960s-era TVs or worse, walkie talkies, just don’t do enough for you, you’re likely to invest in a digital, wireless monitor instead — one you can check on your phone wherever you are. Sound like you? Then you’re probably a drone.

2. You observe your children from a distance but rely on various high-tech devices to track their every move. If you rely on cutting-edge technology to help you obsessively watch your kids from afar, you are probably a drone parent. These can be anything from wireless baby monitors and baby wearables connected to your smartphone to technology used for older kids, like cellphone trackers and smart home cameras that let parents watch live video of their children so they know they’re safe, doing their homework, behaving well and so on. Scary!

3. You have “baby wearables” you use for your infant that tell you things like heart rate, sleep position, when the child is about to wake up and even his mood. Some you just attach to the baby; others are onesies or socks the child wears. All are so you can be hyper-vigilant with your little one, especially while she’s sleeping. Overprotective? Nah.

4. When you do intervene, you like to swoop in suddenly and dramatically. Drone parents are selective about when they intervene in person, and when they do, they frequently like to make a scene. Whether it’s having a big reaction to something your child is doing wrong or unleashing a tirade on his teacher for a real or perceived infraction, you like to make your presence felt since you stay back so much of the time.


5. Helicopter parents are your nemesis. Helicopter parents are way too overt about their hovering and meddling for you. They’re too obvious in their Mother Hen over-involvement. You much prefer to give the impression that you’re letting your kids figure things out for themselves and just watch them like a hawk under the radar.

Do you practice drone parenting?