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Research has shown that parents who constantly run interference between their children and the real world are actually doing more harm than good.

It seems that there are a lot of overprotective parents nowadays. When a child is born, it seems so fragile that it is only natural for parents to feel fiercely protective, but a good parent should know where to draw the line so as not to step into child's individual space. In the long run, it could stifle the child's growth.

Parents need to keep in mind that children do grow up and that they cannot expect their children to hold their hand as they make their way through life. They should accept that scratches, cuts, bruises, and broken limbs are all a part of childhood.

Perfect parents 

Some experts claim that the best kind of parenting is the so-called "smother love”, which means that the parents allow a gradual progression of increasing independence. Of course, this doesn’t mean total independence and discipline, rules, standards and expectations are applied in direct ratio to age. When they are really young, children need a great deal of guidance and control in order, but as they grow in maturity and experience, they are bacoming capable of making more choices for themselves. They begin to deal with the consequences of their mistakes. Most of the experts believe that the parent who tries to protect the child from this process does the young person no favor.

Inappropriate fears – symptoms of overactive parenting

Not  all the fears felt by parents are over-exaggerated but how does a parent know if he or she is being unnecessarily fearful for his or her child’s safety?

Overprotective parents are those who:

  • view every physical activity as being potentially dangerous
  • only feel reassured when their children are under their watchful eyes
  • are more anxious than their children that something will go wrong
  • hover over their children constantly giving instructions
  • rule out all activities that have an even remote possibility of resulting in an accident
  • feel that their children cannot cross a road without being run over or go out alone without being abducted

From the Parents’ Point of View - "We just want what is best for you"

Almost everyone has heard the phrase "We just want what is best for you" during childhood. Most parents really mean it and are trying to accomplish it. Unfortunately the overprotective parents usually go too far and don’t give their children the right to make the decisions for themselves.

Goals of overprotective parenting:

  • Some parents think that their children shouldn’t have to deal with certain things and they are afraid that their child won’t be able to handle it  
  • Other parents think that their children should be perfect so they hover over their children and make sure everything is done right
  • Some parents are overprotective because their parents were and they think that that is how a child should be brought up or they don’t know any other way to raise kids   
  • Some parents may be this way because they don’t want their children to wind up with the wrong kind of crowd   

However, it’s not always the parents' fault. Sometimes even if the parents aren’t overprotective, the child feels the need to rebel and doesn’t want to obey the parents in any way.

Child’s Point of View

Kids often view their parents as old and think that they have forgotten what it’s like to be young and have fun. When parents tell a child that they aren’t allowed to do something it usually sends a message that the parents don’t trust them and that they can’t make good decisions on their own. Parents should know that sometimes their children don’t realize what they are doing is really not good and that they are right in telling them that they aren’t allowed to it. Most psychologists say that behind all this is a child’s wish for their parents to trust that they are doing the right thing and they want the chance to prove that they can stand on their own.

Over-protectiveness with older children

Older children often do not see parental behavior as a product of love and concern, but they rather believe that their parents just do not trust them to be sensible and responsible. Most psychologist believe that these older children can react to their parents’ excessive fear in one of two ways:

  • Compliance - children giving up the idea or activity altogether because they too begin to doubt their capability
  • Resistance - such children react with resistance because they believe that their parents perceive them as being accident-prone and having poor judgment

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