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Overprotective Parents: How to Avoid Being One?

overprotective parents

What are overprotective parents? Well, it is a parent who oversteps their boundaries and becomes the center of their child’s life. They act like they know what things are best for their child without taking into account what is good for the child. They are worried that something bad may happen to them or someone else if they take a step back! When parents try to control every aspect of their child’s life, they destroy self-esteem, cause them to feel lonely, and ultimately make them dependent on us. These kids are not prepared for the real world and how to deal with it on their own. At first glance, you might think that overprotective parents are doing a great job with their children; however, these parents lose sight of raising responsible and independent kids.

It’s common to be concerned about our children, especially when growing up in an unpredictable world. But if you overprotect or overindulge your children, you teach them that they cannot do anything on their own because someone is always there to help them out in times of trouble.

What Are The Common Signs of an Overprotective Parent?

Sometimes because of your overflowing love, you fail to realize that you have fallen into the trap of overprotecting them.. A few signs show you might have come to that stage in parenting as an overprotective parent.

Here are some signs to look for:

  • You feel responsible for every accident or incident that involves your child. You constantly worry about what your child might be doing, who they are talking to, or where they are at.
  • Your children are constantly asking you for things (money, toys, etc.) that you feel aren’t needed. You feel obligated to give them everything they want because you love them so much.
  • Your control is constantly on the line of fear that something will happen if you let them have their way.
  • Children don’t feel comfortable in their decisions because they feel they’re letting their parents down or may have done wrong.
  • Children are scared to try new things because they’re afraid you’ll be angry with them.

How To Reduce Your Level of Control?

If you have started to act like a control freak and feel that you are making your children feel dependent on you, it’s important to stop this behavior as early as possible. The first thing you must do is change your perception and the way you see your children.

Children are not little adults who can make decisions on their own. They have a lot to learn, and we as parents have to help them learn from their mistakes and, through that, make them aware of the consequences ahead so they can grow up into responsible adults. Yes, there will be times when we cannot control everything, and our children will face certain problems in their lives. But if we keep repeating our mistakes of overprotecting our kids, then they’re not going to learn how to overcome the odds.

To help you, we at Baby Steps Daycare provide some tips on how to overcome your overprotective parent tendencies and ultimately raise a responsible and confident adult:

10 Ways To Avoid Being An Overprotective Parent

1. You Must Understand The Difference Between Risk And Risky

overprotective parents

Risk is an action that doesn’t have a 100% guarantee. For example, if your children are going to travel by road, there is a risk of meeting an accident. But risky is doing something without considering the consequences and neglecting all the necessary measures to safeguard your child’s health and safety. Knowing the big difference between risk and risky is extremely important because you can’t overprotect your child from doing every single thing that one does on a daily basis. Teaching children to eliminate risky behaviors helps keep them safe and sound and is better than not allowing them to participate.

2. Stop Obsessing

Stop obsessing about your child’s every move. It’s fine to be cautious, but obsessing over every little thing they do is counterproductive. The more you let your child control their own lives, the better prepared they will be to deal with life on their own. If you take an incident and make it an ongoing issue, then chances are your child may turn into a lot more of a problem than they are.

3. Let Children Try Things On Their Own

Let Children Try Things On Their Own

Even though parents love their children tremendously and have high expectations of them, they need to let go of the idea that they have to take care of everything for them. Children should be able to decide how they’re going to spend their time, how they want to eat, and what they want to do. Give them some choices before you place your child in front of the TV with a snack and a tablet. Having them choose what they want to do is important to growing.

4. Provide Your Children With Life Skills

Having children learn basic life skills is imperative to their growth and maturity as adults. Children should be well-rounded individuals by the time they’re grown up because they’d better understand every facet of life. Every child should have the ability to perform a few simple tasks on their own, such as carrying something, making or buying food, or putting together a toy.

5. Let Children Be Fun Finders

Be careful that you’re not keeping your child from actually having fun, be it with friends or by yourself. They need to learn that having fun is an important part of living. Encourage them to find their fun so that way you can get out of the “fun police” role. It means allowing your children the freedom to play unique games and giving them opportunities to make decisions (such as letting them paint the house instead of hiring a professional painter), and supporting every decision they make.

6. Be Honest About Worry and Fear

be honest about fear

Be upfront with your young children that while you love them very much, this doesn’t mean you don’t have fears. Let them know that it’s okay to have fears and that they shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed to speak up when they are scared of doing something or going somewhere.

7. Introduce Dangers

Introduce your children to dangerous situations so that they can learn from them and grow from them. It is a great way for children to learn how to deal with others’ behavior and make good decisions about what could go wrong or be dangerous. Telling your kids about a scary experience you had as a child that happened at the park can be beneficial in teaching them about making good choices when risky things are happening all around them.

8. Teach Children Problem Solving

Problem-solving is one of the most important life skills children can learn to help them avoid potentially dangerous situations and deal with their anxieties and fears. Teach your kids how to deal with others and deal with themselves when they are feeling anxious or scared. Guide them to calm themselves down and not rely on you for help with their problems.

9. Avoid Peer Pressure At All Cost

When you are trying to break your overprotective ideas, you must avoid spending time with parents who are overprotective. We must be aware that one person in our social groups can influence our feelings, opinions, and decisions. If you want to break away from your old ways and start enforcing good decisions. You need to limit your time with overprotective people and insistent that everything is dangerous for their kids.

10. Respect Their Decisions

Respect Their Decisions

Respect your children’s decisions, and don’t give them orders every time they make one. Let them decide when they’re ready to learn something new, when they want to hang out with their friends, etc. Many parents get in the habit of telling their children what to wear, how to eat, and more. When you let them choose how they want to live and learn from the experiences in their life that are important for them, you’ll feel so much better about yourself as a parent. 

Final Thoughts

Being protective is a good thing, but it needs to be done with a certain level of understanding and maturity. Children do need your supervision, but they don’t need you at their beck and call every second of their life. When you start getting impatient with your child because they aren’t doing exactly what you want them to do, then chances are you’re overprotecting them very much.

At Baby Steps Daycare, we are always rooting for your success. The tips we’ve included in this piece can help you break free from your old ways. And allow them the freedom to make their own decisions about things that are in their best interest.

If you are interested in learning more about the ways to improve your parenting skills, please feel free to contact us – we’re always here for you, and we’d love to help you out!