Play & Learn
5 Signs You Might be Overparenting your Kids
Overparenting is a relatively new term coined to explain a parent’s attempts to micromanage many aspects of their child’s life to ensure they’re on the right path, making good decisions, and safe from any type of harm.
While parents who are overprotective are often well-intentioned, there are many overparenting consequences that can affect their children in the long run.
Overparenting can go both ways: some parents can’t tolerate watching their child fail or getting hurt (hypervigilance,) while some parents feel guilty about disciplining their child and therefore refuse to enforce consequences (overindulgence.)
Hypervigilance and overindulgence can stunt a child’s development and cause them to be overly dependent on their parents. If these sound familiar to you, then it may be a sign that you’re overparenting your child. Here are some others:
1.) Power Struggles
Do you and your child argue or debate on things that normally wouldn’t be considered a reason for arguing? This can be a sign that you’re being too picky or demanding with your child. An example of this could be nagging your child about their choice of clothes, their room not being tidy enough, or their food choices. Being too picky or demanding about things that your children should make their own decisions on can stop them from developing the independence they need in the long run.
It can be easy to impose what we think is the “best way” or “right way” to do certain things, but this stops your child from letting their own creativity flow and can even affect their self-esteem. Micromanaging can be as simple as telling your child that their clothes don’t match, or completing their child’s homework for them without them asking for help, or something as major as dictating their future study options or careers.
3.) Jumping in at the First Sign of Failure
Nobody likes seeing their children fail, but failure is a part of life. Jumping in to rescue your child whenever they have problems won’t allow them to learn from their mistakes, and this can affect the way they deal with their future problems as adults.
4.) You Try to Control Others for the Sake of Your Child
This particular point could be in the form of constantly speaking or arguing with your child’s teachers, coaches, or caregivers about the way your child behaves or how your child is being treated. Doing so not only makes a bad impression on those your child interacts with every day, but it may also result in poor decision-making and unhealthy coping mechanisms in your child.
5.) Overindulging Your Child
Overparenting could also mean overindulging. If you constantly spare your child from responsibility, it may harm them as they won’t learn to be independent and develop the life skills they need as grown ups.
While giving children some responsibility or even some freedom can be an added source of stress and anxiety for parents, it’s important to note that your child needs the freedom to experience a rich childhood which teaches them the life skills needed to become a responsible adult.
Asking your children what they are interested in and giving them the time to plan out their own activities can teach them to grow independently and allow them to develop their interests.
Raising another human being is no joke, mama, and it’s a scary thing to think about! But know that you are not alone, and as they say, it takes a village to raise a child. Make small changes at home and openly talk to your child about the changes you want to make. Remember that it’ll all be worth it once you see your child develop into a healthy, independent adult ready to face the world and all it has to offer.