As a parent, it’s normal to want to minimize the level of physical and emotional pain your child goes through. However, there are times that this can border on being an overprotective parent who is simply not allowing their child to live their life. Calling other parents to fix issues they may be having with friends, for example, is a sign that you are an overprotective parent. Of course, you don’t want them to struggle and get hurt, but if you fix everything for them, you are discouraging your children from being responsible and encouraging dependence. These things can carry on into adulthood and make them anxious and unhappy, to name just a few things. You could be limiting their exposure to experiences that are essential for navigating the world, and this will give them things like anxiety, low self-esteem and even a sense of entitlement. They might even develop unrealistic expectations of how they should be treated forever.
In order to ensure your children grow up as healthy, happy, confident and well rounded as possible, you need to be aware of when you’re being overprotective and what you should do about it. Read on for advice!
Signs You’re An Overprotective Parent
Below are the signs that you are an overprotective parent. Be honest with yourself.
Managing Your Child’s Friendships
If you’re the kind of parent who attempts to manage your child’s friendships, then you could be an overprotective parent. Trying to say who your child is or isn’t best friends with is damaging. You should never force your kids into a friendship that they clearly aren’t into themselves. This doesn’t mean you should never, ever get involved. If another child is hurting your child physically or mentally, then you must address this. However, for the most part, you should probably steer clear of telling your child who they can and can’t be friends with.
You Don’t Let Your Child Explore
Allowing your child that freedom to explore can help them to navigate the world and learn a lot about it while they are at it. But if you’re scared they’ll fall off the monkey bars in the park so you don’t let them go at all, this is a problem. Not only does it give them the message that they’re not capable of doing some things, but you also affect things like their anxiety and confidence in the long run. You can’t wrap them up in bubble wrap and you shouldn’t try.
You Take Them to The Doctors or Call the Ambulance at Every Opportunity
This could be a quick way to turn your child into a hypochondriac and waste the valuable time of the health services. Of course, if something is seriously wrong with your child, going to the doctors or calling an ambulance is important. However, when it comes to things like baby acne, you can find out lots of information on resources like https://www.mustelausa.com/treat-and-prevent-baby-acne to save you having to go to the doctors. You need to be smart and listen to your intuition. It’ll tell you when there’s something actually wrong with your child and when you’re overreacting.
You Do Things For Your Child That They Can Do Themselves
When your child is old enough to do certain things themselves, you should be letting them do it. For example, you should make them cut up their own food, and tie their laces if they are old enough to do it. It might take them a little longer, but it’s important that they figure out how to do this. Doing everything for them will make them grow up with the expectation that they should be waited on hand and foot at all times, and it goes without saying that this is very unhealthy.
Overly-Consoling Your Child
Your child needs love and affection to feel secure, and they should be comforted when they are sad. Showing them that you understand their emotions is great, and making them feel validated is a must if they are going to turn into healthy adults. However, you should not be going OTT when it comes to consoling your child. You can’t fix those hurt feelings, and it’s better for them to work through them and let them go away naturally – don’t buy them a brand new game or toy to make them feel better about a child saying something mean to them. They need to know how to self soothe. A hug and some kind words are fine but resist the urge to try to make those feelings go away with a treat or food.
You Always Remind Your Child Of Danger
You shouldn’t be scaring your child to death every time they want to do something new. You shouldn’t always be shouting ‘stop!’ at your child. If all they hear are you shouting negatives at them, they’re going to feel pretty rubbish when it comes to navigating something new. Of course, if your child is about to run into the street you should tell them to stop. But if your child is climbing up the jungle gym at the park, have a little faith and confidence in them. You will eventually instill your own beliefs in your child. If you don’t believe that they can navigate something as simple as the park, they’ll believe it too. They’ll become anxious kids who don’t want to try new things and are always afraid of getting hurt. This won’t make for a very happy or healthy life for them in the long run!
What Are The Dangers Of Being An Overprotective Parent?
Now that you know some of the signs you could be an overprotective parent, you should know the dangers. All kinds of things could happen if you have this parenting style. You may find that they rebel as they get older, not just from you, but from teachers and other people who try to control them. Eventually, they may become perfectionist control freaks, which isn’t fun for anybody and can really hinder them.
Your kids may become wild teenagers or adults – they will likely have a wild stage at some point. They usually also have unhealthy attachment styles that sabotage their relationships, and as a result, they may be insecure, anxious or avoidant in romantic relationships. They may also become overprotective parents like you, or even overly liberating, allowing their kids the freedom that they never had. Kids like this also constantly think about what parents would say to their decisions, even if they are no longer around to control them. Essentially, you will still be controlling and dictating their lives and decisions from afar.
What Can You Do If You’re Overprotective?
If you’re an overprotective parent, you need to find the line between taking care of your kid and wrapping them in cotton wool. It’s important to be self-aware and realize when you may be being unreasonable or projecting your own fears and limiting beliefs onto your child. If you know you have serious issues, then it could be a good idea to go to counseling or therapy so you can overcome them. One of the best things you can do for your child is to model the behaviour in yourself that you want to see in them, so becoming the happiest, healthiest, most emotionally stable version of yourself is a must. Kids brains are like sponges, so the earlier on you develop a healthier sense of attachment to them and what’s going on in their lives, the better!
Hi, before you go…
If you enjoyed the blog we would like to have you join our email list and receive the weekly email of the latest blog post, tips, and exclusive content, you can join now! Don’t forget to join our Private Facebook page. The page is created to share your work, pitch your services and learn from one another.
If you found this post helpful, please PIN IT!
About the Author
This article was written by a contributing author.