Ever since my husband and I became parents, we have always being careful not to be overprotective of our children. There is no clear guideline on what level of parenting is appropriate and not overprotective. We understand it is a delicate balance we need to figure out.
As parents, we are natural concern about our children’s safety and welfare. We do not wish seeing our kids getting hurt physically nor emotionally. On the other hand, we also recognize the value of occasional bruises, unserious hurt, and reflective challenges are going to strengthen the development of our children.
Children need to be given opportunity to learn how to deal with problems and taking care of themselves. They need to learn how to get themselves back up after a fall. They need to learn there is not always someone there catching them falling.
It is not always easy to be aware being overprotective. There are following signs you can look for:
Excessive social intervention
As children grow up, they have more social interactions with the people around them. Sometimes, children may have arguments or fights with their peers. You should reframe the urge of taking on the problems with active intervention. While it is important to provide guidance on navigating relationship, a balance needs to be maintained. Children ought to be given opportunity to learn by trial and error.
When children do not achieve their objectives, parents are the first ones to feel their disappointment. Parents naturally want to comfort their child as much as they can. Overprotective parents have the tendency to reassure their child that things will always go as they hope.
Overarching Friends Selection
Parents have overarching influence and deciding power on the selection of their children’s friend. I understand parents exercise this power so their children expose to minimal negative influence from their peer. We want our children to be circled by positive and helpful peers. The influence on how our children select their friends need to be delicately balanced and approached. We want our children be open to broad range of human reach; and avoid passing on our biases or prejudice to their young minds.
Keeping Constant Watch
Overprotective and nervous parents tend to have children under close watch. They cannot help themselves to constantly wondering their children’s where about and their activities. Overprotective parents go to extents where they frequently contact friends or friend’s parents, and even teachers to check on their where about.
Exempting Children from Chores
We believe in doing house chores. Participating in housework develop children to be more family oriented and held your children to be more responsible. There are parents who do not expect children to perform house chores. This is especially common among Asian families. If you find yourselves bargaining house work with your children over routine activities, such as homework; you will need to be aware. Kids can develop an habit to easily take things for granted.
Depriving Real World Experience
We understand parents do not want to put your children’s happiness or see them getting hurt. Life is all about taking measurable risks, making educated decisions, and gaining memorable life experience. Being overprotective can potentially deprive those learning opportunities from your children.
If you find yourself fit into a few of these signs, you need to start paying more attention. Children need to learn solving problems on their own, whether it is a problem with friends at school or just going through a bad mood.
Parents need to learn to observe their children is a safe distance allowing their children having real world experience and trial-and-error learning experience. Teaching self-responsibility is important and it should be started in the early childhood.