This is a question that parents often ask themselves: are we overprotective of our child or children? Overprotective parents are not helpful to a child’s growth and wellbeing. While their intentions are sound, the child does not benefit from being cossetted and pandered to. Excessive protection or over controlling a child is counter-productive.
Are you overprotective parents? Here are a few things you can watch out for. If you answer yes to many of these questions, then you need to reconsider your overprotective parenting style.
- Do you solve all your child’s issues?
- Do you try and keep in touch with your child constantly when not in your proximity?
- Do you not give your child any responsibilities in the house?
- Are you too understanding or try to make the child feel better when they do not do well in something?
- Do you tell your child who they can and cannot be friends with?
- Are you constantly checking with the child’s teachers and friends about the child?
- Do you protect the child from life and its realities?
Yes to these questions means that you are an overprotective parent. This behavior needs immediate remedying. If you consider the damage this style of parenting does to a child, you might need no convincing to change your behavior. For starters, an overprotected child is a poor learner. Not in the bookish, textbook terms, but in terms of dealing with life and having life skills. Not being able to take decisions for themselves is not helpful for anyone, especially a child. Having agency is where being a true, flourishing adult lies. Having a controlling parent does not help at all.
A child who is being brought up by overprotective parents is often moody, withdrawn, constantly worried, and even depressed. Having a child with emotional issues is a nightmare for any parent. This comes when the parents try to control every action of the child.
A child who’s maladjusted lacks in confidence and social skills. This means growth is hampered across all levels. The sense of maturity that should come with every year of growing up is severely restricted. A child needs to learn, unlearn, and relearn on their own. Your trying to teach them is not going to help. What could happen is that a child may feel fearful of you and resort to lies or deception in order to avoid a situation with you.
If you need to work on being less of an overprotective parent, talk to your child, not to find information, but to find out what the child needs. Respect the child’s boundaries and space. This may be counterintuitive for you and you might struggle with it. It does not matter. It is what you need to do in order for the child to trust you to be a guide and not a guard. Also learn to deny the child something they may want but not need. Giving into your child’s every whim is not helpful to anyone, especially the child. A child needs to be held accountable for their actions and needs to be taught that rights come with responsibilities.
Remember, only a confident parent can raise a confident child. Believe in your own abilities and raise a happy, well-adjusted productive child!