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Raising a child is hard work, especially when they are not aware of the dangers in the world and you have to do that part for them. And many times, you rather become an overprotective parent than letting your child get hurt. Take, for instance, a 2 and a half-year-old; there have probably been more times than you can count that your heart has jumped into your throat out of fear that they’d be hurt.
Imagine seeing them trip over something and falling on the floor and you are just a few feet away but are unable to catch them. What about the time you are holding out a toy for them to pull and their tiny, chubby finger slips and their head bangs smack onto the hard floor?
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? When your child was trying to walk for the first time, and even though they may have been wearing a helmet, they lost balance and their forehead banged the corner of a drawer. Or how about when your little one was trying to play with their balance bike and did not know how to keep balance with his legs?
Ever lock the doors? How about when your child accidentally locked the door, and your heart trembled as you screamed to make sure he stays away from the electric outlet? Boy, we sure could go on and on. Needless to say, any parent would rather be next to their child all the time to make sure they are there to catch them when they fall, to make sure they never feel the physical pain of getting hurt.
The golden question is, should you be there, though, to prevent every single potential injury? Should you become his shield to protect him from everyone and everything? Should you stay by his side and support him, no matter what? If you are having the same concern, you are at the right place. We will look at some negative impacts of being an overprotective parent, and some warning signs that you are being one.
Negative Impact On Children Of Overprotective Parenting
Lack of life skills
Everyone will face some kind of challenge in their lives and they grow stronger and stronger after overcoming those. So does your child.
Facing small and suitable challenges at an early age helps develop your child’s life skills and strategies so that he can overcome big obstacles in the future.
Overprotective parents tend to sweep all obstacles off their children’s road instead of giving their children a chance to practice overcoming them. Without proper practice, your child will lack life skills and easily surrender when things go wrong.
According to experimental psychopathologist Graham C. L. Davey, 80% of parents of kids with anxiety issues display anxiety themselves. Overprotective parents can distort their children’s perception of threats and dangers in the world.
Overprotective parents often exaggerate and constantly remind their children about dangers. This will create fear and anxiety in the children.
You do much research all over the internet and buy plenty of modern tools to assist your parenting. You try to foresee and remove all the possible obstacles that your children can face. Or worse, you do anything that is possible to protect your children and wrap them in a bubble to make sure they never get hurt.
But in life, everyone will face threats, challenges, and obstacles. And growing up, children must face threats, overcome challenges and obstacles to learn problem-solving skills as well as how to cope with difficulties in life. If you take those learning opportunities from them at a young age, they will not know how to deal with that in the future.
Lack of confidence
Overprotected children often lack self-confidence. Because what they are taught at an early age is that they need someone else to take care of them and arrange their lives for them and that they cannot do it themselves.
By constantly being monitored and protected, children do not have the opportunity to prove to themselves that they can accomplish great deeds by themselves. Although overprotective parents can say encouraging things to their children, their actions often suggest otherwise. Whenever their children want to do something that they consider “risky”, they immediately stop them.
The message that they constantly deliver to their children is that they are not really capable, competent, or good enough to manage life by themselves. Research also points out that overprotective parenting is associated with low self-efficacy.
Your children have no idea of their potential because they did not have any chance to explore it.
5 signs you are an over protective parent
You don’t let your child try new things alone
You think your child is too young and he would not know the “proper” way to play or do anything. To make sure things do not go astray, you stay by your child all the time.
- To correct things.
- To prevent things.
- To keep him company.
- To make him feel your presence
- …and more
Does this list seem familiar? Well, you are definitely an overprotective parent if it does. Do you know why? Because children are supposed to be like Thomas Edison, they are supposed to try 10,000 different ways until they find their own right way.
Imagine if Thomas Edison had had a mom who was always by his side to prevent him from wasting his effort on trying 10,000 materials for the light bulb, we could still be in the dark ages!
You believe your child is way too small, too young, too weak to do something
Your child is just a few years old, he doesn’t know how to do this, how to do that. You have to help him until he does. Guess what? You don’t know when he does because you don’t let him try.
In fact, assigning house chores to your child will help him develop motor skills, coordination skill,s and a sense of responsibility. The more you let your child do things, the more he will know how to take care of himself, how to act and react.
Read More: The Top 7 Benefits of Enrolling Your Child in Singing Lessons- No Matter their Vocal Talent
Your child is not responsible for any mistakes
Overprotective parents can’t stand their children’s failures. They are willing to rescue their children whenever they face even the smallest obstacles.
And if your child fails or makes any mistakes, you protect his feelings by convincing he is not responsible for that, and telling him that you would fix it for him. When he gets older and things go wrong, he would not know how to fix it himself.
Later in life, your child will always blame someone else or something else for his mistakes and failures. Or worse, he will victimize himself with life. He will be knocked down by life, and cannot get back up on his feet.
By rescuing your child today, you are putting him at risk of depression and anxiety in the future.
You cannot expect to raise a resilient child by making your child think that he is always the perfect one that never makes a mistake.
You pamper and console your child too much
You love your child. Your child is the best and sweetest angel in the whole world. So when your child gets hurt or upset, you try to pamper him and compensate him. All parents can certainly relate to exactly how you feel.
When your child trips over something, instead of waiting for him to get up himself, you run straight to him to pick him up, blow on the boo-boo and say “oh, poor baby”.
When your child hears the thunder, instead of telling him that is thunder and it is okay, you hug him to your chest and try to cover his ears for him.
When your child drinks some hot soup, instead of telling him to blow on it before drinking, you grab the bowl for him…
But overly pampering and consoling your child takes away his chance to self-soothe. He would never know how to deal with his anger, anxiety, and strange emotions. He would need something or someone else to do that work for him.
You don’t let your child make his own choices
You go to a restaurant and order food. Your child wants pizza but you want him to eat salad and some soup. Then you skip the pizza because it is not good for him.
Well, not a good picture. Not only you will end up with a pouting kid, but you are also telling your child that his needs and wants do not matter.
Let your child make some of his own decisions and give him the freedom he needs. Pizza is not good for him? Alright, how about letting him pick the soup for entrée and get a small slice of pizza? It would be a win-win.
If you allow your child to pick a toy under 10 bucks, and he wants to pick a doll, don’t roll your eyes and say he is not allowed to play with a girl’s toy.
If your child wants to play at the jungle gym rather than walking, let him do it.
If he wants to climb on a tree, don’t forbid him. Instead, suggest to him how to do it, and arm him with safety guards.
Read More: Eliminate Raising Your Voice in 8 Easy Ways
Kids learn by making mistakes and learning from them. It can be hard and painful to see them mess up sometimes but your children will thank you for it. If you are an overprotective parent, try to relax and just be a passenger in your kid’s life. Intervene when needed, but don’t control the way he wants to drive.
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