The children of overprotective parents often express frustration with their parents. Being overprotective is not that great for kids, even though there are good intentions behind it. Many things can happen as a result of overprotective parenting.
Why are parents overprotective? Why are dads overprotective of their daughters? There are many different questions that one can ask to understand overprotective parenting.
The overprotective definition is ‘having a tendency to protect someone excessively, especially a child.’ There is also an overprotective synonym that helps to understand it even better. Controlling is an excellent one to use to describe this type of parenting.
Table of Contents
- Overprotective Parents Characteristics
- Overprotective Parents Effects
- How to Deal With Overprotective Parents
- Overprotective Parent Stories
- Overprotective Quotes
- How to Stop Being Overprotective
Overprotective Parents Characteristics
There are several ways that parents can be overprotective. These methods are usually intended to be helpful, but it does not always end up that way. The characteristics of overprotective parents are as follows:
- Working hard to help child to succeed
- Solving all of the child’s problems
- Controlling child’s friendships
- Not giving house chores
- Discouraging the child from taking risks
- Maintaining constant contact when child is physically away from parent
- Talking excessively to spouse, friend, or teachers to find out how their child is doing
- Not educating the child about the real world
- Inquiring about the life of the child frequently
- Being overly sympathetic if something does not work out for the child
Overprotective Parents Effects
As prisoners in their own house, children are unable to experience the world and cannot make independent decisions
Will always feel the need to look up to parent for answers
Anxiety and depression are relatively common in children with overprotective parents. This is a result of the overprotective mom and overprotective dad controlling and being all up in their business.
By not being able to work hard for their goals by themselves, children are losing the opportunity to gain skills on their own. They will feel as if they cannot do anything on their own.
By being overprotective, parents deny children the ability to mature and move forward with their lives.
How to Deal With Overprotective Parents
Being a child with overprotective parents can be rough. It can feel suffocating and limiting, and you are probably frustrated with how things are going for you. How do you deal with your overprotective parents?
There is a time and place for everything, and that includes talking to your parents about their overprotective natures. Choose somewhere that you are both comfortable, likely the house or a quiet place without home team advantage. Get rid of any distractions as to not disturb the conversation or let it get away from you. Also, choose a time during the day in which there will be no constraints on time. Letting all parties involved speak their piece will ensure that it is fair all around.
Be careful to avoid pointing blame at anyone, especially during this difficult discussion. Use ‘I’ statements to focus on your own emotions and feelings about the situation. This helps to prevent judgement and lets your parents feel like you are not ignoring their side of things. Telling them that they are overbearing is not the right way to go, so ensure that you keep using ‘I’ statements like ‘I feel like you do not trust me when you call and text every five minutes when I am out.’
Know what you want to get out of this conversation. Make sure that your parents know that you appreciate them for caring. Be respectful and have some goals in mind to give them so you can work things out.
Consider your parents’ perspective of things. Why do they do what they do and are there any underlying reasons for their overprotective nature? They are afraid of something happening to you, so do not undermine how they feel, no matter how frustrated you are.
This is super important. To become an independent adult, you are going to need to make your own decisions and mistakes. You will have to tell your parents when you do and do not need help. Since they are expressing their care for you in this controlling way, you are still going to have to give them something. They are your parents, after all.
Make it clear to your parents that you want firmer and clearer boundaries that will benefit both of you. If your parents react negatively to your request, try to avoid the drama that surrounds the situation. Vent to a friend or sibling and purge your negative thoughts, so you do not blow up at your parents when it reaches a certain point.
Be patient. An overprotective nature is hard to change and definitely will not happen overnight. There is an adjustment period in which different things are tried, and slip ups may occur. Do not get too frustrated over that, for everyone is going to need space and time to adjust to your new independence.
Appropriate boundaries are necessary. Your limits heavily depend on your age group. The acceptable limits for a high schooler are going to be different from a middle schooler or a college student. It is not unreasonable for your parents to want to know where you are, especially if you are a preteen. You are developing an increasing need for privacy, but boundaries can be alleviated in some ways. For example, you can request for your parents to stay out of your room and not to go through your things. This can be a good start to getting a handle on the boundaries that have been made.
Reduce Parental Anxiety
Parents with anxiety can become extra overprotective. This stress is hard to control and is a major factor in how they are raising you. Understand that your parents have your best interests at heart.
Show your parents that you are capable. By showing them that you are responsible, you can alleviate the protectiveness that they have. Make sure you ask for permission and tell them who, what, where, and when. This is something that is important even for adults. Having someone know where you are can save your life one day. Show and not tell your parents that you are mature and they will begin to worry less.
Be open to their advice every once in a while. Your parents are older and have many more experiences than you do. Do not be afraid of or resistant to asking for help. This will show that you are mature enough to accept when you need help.
Overprotective Parent Stories
Sometimes parents do some ridiculous things. They call the front desk of the college dorm their child lives at to ask all kinds of questions. An overprotective parent followed his kid around in the car while the kid was riding his bike, no matter where he went. This continued until the kid eventually got his own car and tricked the parent into driving 2 hours, following a friend’s similar car.
There is even a story that hits a little closer to home. My parents did not allow me to go to beach week with my friends because they were afraid that I could get arrested for walking around and being 17. This was upsetting and pretty ridiculous, but there was nothing I could do about it. I had even tried talking to them about it, but there was no room for budging. If you have overprotective parents, talk to them about it instead of just going with it; you will appreciate it so much more.
- “As parents, we have a tendency to overprotect; it’s okay to try and show them all the positives, but we cannot forget that the real world has teeth.” – Jonnie Dent Jr
- “Let your children learn and unlearn on their own… let them fall and stand up on their own.”
- “Overprotective parents raise the best liars.”
- “A lot of parents are overprotective and try to shield their children from any mention of drug problems. They just won’t talk about it. Keep the communication open.”
How to Stop Being Overprotective
Give your children more room. When something happens, give them a chance to deal with it and see what they do. It is a useful skill to be able to make a decision when overwhelmed, so it is important to let them learn it.
Consider the Worst
In any situation, think of the worst possible thing that can happen. If the worst is something that you are able to bear, let it happen. However, intervention is okay if there is a risk of grave danger.
Improving communication skills to allow for more listening is important. Offer suggestions and listen to what your children have to say. Let them make the final decision for themselves.
Do not deny children’s desire for independence. It is critical to have the responsibility to make independent decisions that will help them to believe in their capability to achieving things on their own.
Whether they be good or bad, let the child deal with the consequences of their actions. Even if the results seem harsh, do not intervene. This helps to promote a sense of responsibility for the future.
Allowing a child to be their own advocate when they reach a certain age is important. This helps them to learn how to speak out and say what they need in school or relationships.
Not everything they want needs to be tended to. The world will not always be kind, and sometimes you cannot get what you want. This is an important lesson to learn for anyone – the difference between ‘need’ and ‘want.’
Seeking help is not giving up. It is okay to admit that you are having problems. In order to improve your parenting style and independence for the child, professional help may be needed and super helpful.
Believe in Yourself
If you have confidence in what you have been teaching your children, they are fully capable of making decisions. If you have done a good job teaching them right and wrong, there is not much to worry about.
Overprotective parenting is not beneficial to the child that is being raised. In order to let a kid become a young adult, it is important to have boundaries that are sensible. Also, making sure that the child is able to handle his own life by himself is a skill that is going to be needed later on in life.
Without overprotectiveness, children can grow up happy and not dependent on their parents. Children should be able to be their own person, even at a young age. Being a suffocating parent will only cause issues, especially when children get older. As long as there is a mutual understanding, overprotective parenting can be a thing of the past.