As parents we get naturally wired in a way to care and protect our children. The definition of Overprotective Parents is basically described as to protect too much or to coddle. In other words it is the word given to a parent who worries and cares a great deal about their children. It can also be referred to parents who are just observant and normal. But how far is it okay for the parents to spread the safety nets too far for kids that restrict their growth and the natural abilities they are born with? A 6 years old child is not allowed to go to the park to play if the parents do not have the time to accompany them. Even today when somebody gives me the example of forbidden things that might happen to my own children, it feels terrifying. And it suddenly gives rise to a shield to protect them from any possible harm that can be prevented. The major concerns of parents lie in the areas like health, academics, bad company, and easy availability of information from the web.
Is it us or the news items that propel us to become over protective? More than trusting our own children, we rely and trust the world out there. Not sending them for night outs and outstation. Children have an uncanny ability to pick up their parents' fears, so if you're a parent who is concerned about being overprotective try to shift your approach. A healthy amount of risk and responsibility is important for children to mature into confident, secure adults.
Effects that overprotective parents have on their children:
· Serious/ not so serious
· Causing kids to go to extremes
· Overly shy to rebellious
Parents do not want their children to feel any discomfort and pain. Overprotectiveness often takes place at two main stages in life: toddler years and teenage years. It doesn’t allow kids to be ready for the real world and if they are not ready, they don’t know how to handle the situations. Their only reaction would be to panic, instead of trying to look for solutions. When children leave for college or move out on their own, they get afraid of people and real world because they were never given the chance to interact and develop their people skills. They are unable to make their life decisions. An over protective parent sends an unconscious message to the child telling him that the world is not a safe place. As a result of which, the child grows up into an adult who starts everything from a distrust - distrusting people, distrusting situations. That’s the world, everyone moving around distrusting everyone else. Aren’t we under a constant pressure!
The famous line of the movie Finding Nemo says it all- If you don’t let anything happen to him, then nothing will ever happen to him. Implying that overprotecting then only stunts their growth and zaps fun out of life.
Overprotective parents are invasive in other ways. They solve problems for their children that the latter are often capable of solving themselves. When parents excessively infantilize their children, it stunts their social, emotional and psychological growth. They lack common sense preparedness and are often targeted by bullies and other stronger kids. Overprotected children are sheltered and not aware of age appropriate life situations. The child might live his life in the comfort zone he was taught to live in even if his life was restricted and even if stepping out of this zone would make him happier.
Over protective parenting also affects a child's self-esteem. As a result of preventing the child from taking charge he starts to think that he is not capable of facing life on his own and thus his self-esteem deteriorates. Both pampering and the over protection done by parents are among the factors that can ruin a child's self-esteem and that can have a severe effect on his self-image.
As a result of being raised by over protective parents many children turn into rebels who refuse to take orders from anyone. This might turn them turn into stubborn adults who have problems conforming to rules in school or work.
As a result of overprotective parenting the child who has a low self-esteem and who fears taking risks is likely to live his whole life in a safe corner. He would never attempt to do anything that he is not familiar with because that will appear unsafe to him.
After knowing about these bad effects it makes a lot of sense not to be too overprotective. If you want to raise confident children, just let the child explore his world while keeping an eye on him so that you can help him when he is in need.
As children reach the teenage years, they often spend greater amounts of time beyond the reach of the parents. This freedom can lead to greater risk-taking behaviour for children of overprotective parents. Teens might be more likely to participate in sexual activities, drinking or drug abuse. Teens often test the boundaries of their overprotective parents because these children have likely not developed a sense of responsibility for their actions. Overprotective parents have often assumed that responsibility.
Overprotective parenting can cause the lack of the development of self-esteem in a child. This is because the child is not allowed to face challenges without parental intervention. Part of the development of self-esteem in children comes from surmounting challenges on their own, which can be denied to them by overprotective parenting.
Toddlers whose natural curiosity and inability to sense dangers require supervision, needs parents who can distinguish between being protective and overprotective. So, by providing a nurturing and stimulating environment let them find their own ways and nurture their innate potentials because they are born with all the power in the world. Be a guide to them, a support that they can fall back on, rather than someone who takes up all the responsibility.