Parenting is the activity of bringing up a child. One’s parenting style determines the growth and development of their child. Hence, one must keep analyzing their ways of parenting from time to time.
Researchers have shown that over-parenting can give rise to anxiety in a child. In 2012, Macquarie University of Sydney, Australia, conducted research. The results showed that kids at age four who showed anxiety symptoms had moms that were excessively involved in their lives. By the age of nine, these kids will be more likely to get a prognosis of chronic anxiety.
Another research conducted in 2013 showed that kids who have been “over-parented” show reduced life satisfaction. Kids who have had excessively active parents show a lack of trust in their own abilities when they grow up. These children get used to their families doing things for them. They cannot learn even very basic tasks, like doing their own laundry.
The following are a few points that indicate over-parenting. You can use these points to keep your parenting style in check.
1. You criticize your child a lot
A kid goes to school, studies a few things, adopts some behaviors, and perceives some ideas. But not all of them might be a good sign for the growth of the infant. Being a parent, keep a watchful eye on the activities of your kid and correct them when they go wrong somewhere. But keeping an eye from a distance differs from being nosy and over-indulgent. Too much intervention and too frequent correction can backfire as the child might end up having low self-esteem.
2. You continually obsess over your child’s diet
Proper food habits are important for the proper development and growth of an infant. Hence, often, people can be seen endlessly obsessing over it. They become over-anxious about the eating habits of their child. A child needs to consume a balanced amount of nutrients, calcium, iron, protein, etc and the parents should make a note of providing their child with a balanced diet every day instead of allowing consumption of junk food daily. But sometimes, parents take things too seriously and end up continually obsessing over with what the infant eats. This unnecessary intervention leads to undue taxes on the mind of the child.
3. You are over-protective of your child
Kids who permanently live under protecting their parents find it hard to overcome any sorts of problems later in life. Parents become too used to taking good care of the child. They cannot understand that they will not be always by their kids’ side. The child never gets a chance to learn how to live independently. Hence, overprotective parents need to recognize this problem and get rid of it as soon as possible.
4. You make all your child’s decisions
If you are making all your child’s decisions in his/her stead, then you need to stop right away. A child needs to learn the art of decision-making and that he/she can only learn by making their own decisions. This will also give your child the much-required self-confidence. Otherwise, he will lack decisiveness and will find it impossible to make any life-altering decisions later in life. They never find their own voice because you were always their voice.
Worse yet, they will not come to know how to share their thoughts and view about things that matter. They get used to living in a safer environment, and it would be very difficult for them to come out of it. All of this will lead to a lack of confidence in oneself. Thus, parents need to learn how to protect the child without over-protecting them.
5. You are a helicopter parent
Do you often argue with other people involved in your child’s like the coaches, teachers, day-care professionals, etc. over how they handle and treat your child? If the answer to that question is yes, you are over-parenting your child. This makes you a helicopter parent because, just like a helicopter, you are constantly hovering over him/her to oversee every aspect of his/her life. Helicopter parents sometimes call educators to give better grades to their children.
They even dislike the child’s grandparents offering them candies. Children need to experience different things with different people for their proper development. You should never try to control and dictate every aspect of their life, as it will never bring them much good.
6. You never let your child face disappointment
No matter how small, failure can be very stressful. It is something that all of us face at one or another point in our lives. Sheltering your kid from facing any disappointments at all will only make them weaker. As a result, they will not be able to face disappointments later in their life and wouldn’t know how to deal with them rationally. So, it’s better if they get trained for it from their childhood. Let them know that failing at something is not the end of their world. It is okay to fail and face disappointment sometimes.
7. You just fix all your child’s problems right away
Helping your kids fix their problems differs from fixing their problems for them. For example, if your kid struggles with the subject of maths, first let them brainstorm a little for the answer, rather than telling it to them right away. When they resolve an issue all by themselves, children get a sense of achievement. This gives rise to self-esteem and self-love.
8. You worry about things that need not be worried about
If your child doesn’t score well, it’s okay. Keep supporting them despite their low grades or some minor setbacks they might face. If your child is not good at dancing or singing, look for other things he/she is good at instead of worrying about their lack of dancing and singing skills. Don’t expect your child to be perfect. No one is. Don’t keep worrying about things related to them that can very well be overlooked.
9. You keep your child completely sheltered
We should give kids access to different opportunities and experiences. This is how they will learn about the world around them and equip themselves to face it efficiently. Don’t just focus on their academic progress, but their overall progress as a human being.
10. You feed your child your fears
Tell your kid to be cautious of dangerous people they might come across but do not force them to believe that the world is a very dangerous place, one where you can never live a carefree life. Do not try to feed them your own fears. As a parent, it is only natural that you worry about their safety and security, but putting them under house arrest to protect them from the world is not how you are supposed to protect them. Allow them to explore the beautiful place this world is.
Without a doubt, discipline is an important aspect of your child’s life. But, we should give them room to develop. This process of development will be full of failures and successes, both. Over-parenting your child and taking the failure part away will not benefit your child in the long run. There is a very fine line between parenting and over-parenting. The sooner you’ll realize it, the better your child’s future will be.