5 Signs of Overparenting

Red Flag No. 5: Watch-dogged Kids

Helicopter parents, step away from the cell phones.
Helicopter parents, step away from the cell phones.
Aping Vision/Getty Images

Modern-day overparenting probably wouldn't exist to such an extreme extent if cell phone technology wasn't around. Thanks to mobile devices, moms and dads can keep in constant contact with their children, and that's not necessarily a good thing. In 2010, Taser, the company known for stun guns, advertised software enabling parents to intercept phone calls, text messages and e-mails kids receive on personal cell phones [source: Magid]. Helicopter parents can also opt for GPS-outfitted cell phones that give them real-time information on their tweens' and teens' whereabouts. And just to be on the even safer side, parents can download a host of apps that facilitate mobile video monitoring if the kids are home alone, as well as an FBI-developed app that can instantly provide authorities with up-to-date ID information and photos should children go missing [source: Singer].

Child psychologists warn, however, that electronically keeping tabs on kids can quickly backfire [source: Rauh]. Excessive monitoring can foster feelings of hostility toward parents who don't trust their children to stay out of trouble. Statistically, kids also are safer on the streets and in schools than ever before, which means that in reality, parents should be breathing a sigh of relief rather than putting their sons and daughters on electronic leashes [source: Gillespie].