Do overprotective parents harm kids? - Juno.Clinic India blog

Do overprotective parents harm kids?

As children grow, they start from a state of complete dependence to a state of semi-dependence, and then they reach the teenage years where they feel like they know it all – a stage of constant struggle between ‘know it all’ parents and ‘know it all’ kids. It is undoubtedly understood that parents are protective about their growing children and they’re just trying to keep them safe from the ways of the world. Dangers like substance abuse, violence, drinking etc do exist, but parents also need to draw the line between being protective and being over-bearing.

Overprotective parenting could lead to low self esteem in children because children feel that they are unable to make any decisions. They depend on their parents to make decisions for them, so when the time comes to make decisions for themselves they might feel incapable. Such incapability eventually causes deterioration in self esteem because a child might feel that he or she cannot take charge of his or her own life.

As a result of protective parenting, a child could grow up to be an individual who fears risks. By being brought up in a comfortable and safe zone, any situation which might seem unfamiliar could strike a sense of fear and helplessness in such an individual. Also, by “parenting” each and every decision your child makes, you eventually forget to teach your child the difference between right and wrong. What you say is right is right, and what you say is wrong is wrong, regardless of logic or reason.

In such situations, children either end up taking undue advantage of situations because they cannot tell when they’re crossing a line. A child who has never been allowed to leave the house after 7pm will probably spend all night out when he or she moves to a new city. A child who is not allowed to eat junk food at home is very capable of binge eating junk food at a friend’s place. A child who is not allowed to have a cell phone will probably manage to sneak one from someone else. A pre-teen who isn’t allowed to taste alcohol is very capable of going overboard while drinking when there is no parental supervision.

Such situations clearly show a lack of learning. Children learn from their mistakes, no matter how big or small. When you touch a hot pan, you know not to touch it again – not because your parents said so but because you realized it for yourself. More often than not, it is essential for children to realize the effects and repercussions of their mistakes to actually learn from such incidents.  Most times, parents who try to maintain too much control end up raising children who are rebellious in nature.

A lot of times, when parents act in a protective manner by trying to control tiny aspects, children feel that their parents don’t trust them. This could lead to a sense of insecurity among children. Such children often grow up to feel that they cannot do anything in life without the constant guidance of their parents. Imagine your child going to a job interview with you, just because your child doesn’t think he or she is capable enough of doing this alone!

Parents who want to do everything for their children prevent them from actually maturing. There is a difference between being a parent and being a protective dictator. As a parent, it’s better to teach your child the difference between right and wrong so as to make them productive and most importantly independent adults. For any more thoughts and queries on over protective parenting, feel free to talk to our expert therapists on .

Team Juno
Juno Clinic is a comprehensive mental wellness clinic. We provide counseling and treatment for any kind of psychological or psychiatric issue. Our team consists of psychologists and psychiatrists, each of whom has significant experience and specialization in tackling issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, child behavioral or development issues, addiction etc.

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