4 Risks of Overeducating Children

Many times, parents think that helping our children in everything will benefit them. But we forget that children also have to fail to learn.
4 Risks of Overeducating Children
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

All of us parents want to give our children the best, but we don’t always realize that overeducating children has its risks. Sometimes, we consent to things that aren’t important to avoid having a tantrum or simply to keep from disturbing the peace of the home.

Overprotection hinders the development of autonomy, as with it, we don’t let our little ones be the protagonists of their lives. And as a result, they grow dependent and don’t have enough experience with frustration, which is necessary from time to time.

In this article, we’re going to see some of the risks of overeducating children. Don’t miss it!

Overeducating children has its risks

When we educate through overprotection, we anticipate any need that our child may have and we satisfy it even before they even ask us to. Therefore, we offer excessive attention, where our level of demand is inadequate.

This way of overeducating children confuses protection (necessary in parenting) with hyperprotection, which is harmful, disproportionate, and inhibitory.

When we overprotect, we only educate fragile, dependent children who are unable to face their own fears. In short, we prevent them from developing their ability to choose and make mistakes, which are basic aspects of learning.

Many times, behind this type of education, we find the frustrated desires and unfulfilled dreams of parents in regard to their own lives. These parents are willing to do whatever to get their children to obtain or achieve what they couldn’t obtain or achieve themselves. But the main educational goal parents should set is to help their little ones face the difficulties or potholes that life puts in their path.

A young girl having a tantrum.
We must let children know that sometimes life throws us obstacles that we have to learn to overcome. And not everything always turns out as we want.

What are the risks of overeducating children?

Next, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the risks involved in overeducating children.

1. Recurring frustrations when they don’t excel at something

Children who are overprotected don’t know how to win or lose and even avoid assuming responsibilities.

These kids, when they don’t get what they want, feel angry, irritable, and very impatient. Also, they tend to blame others for their failures, without taking responsibility for their part.

2. Greater dependency than autonomy

If we parents do everything for our children, prevent every problem or failure, and solve all the difficulties they encounter, we make them dependent and deprive them of doing things for themselves.

This affects them both in the short and long term, as when they’re adults, they won’t know how to fend for themselves and will maintain dependency in some way.

3. A lack of notion about the value of things and the effort involved in getting them

If we give our children everything they ask for, what effort will they have to make to get it?

This, although it may not seem like it, is very important, because it will be the basis of learning so that in adulthood, they work hard to get what they want. If they don’t value the effort, they’ll be unhappy people with their lives.

4. Impatience and anxiety

A child who gets everything they want just by opening their mouth will never learn to wait. And as soon as they don’t get what they want right away, they’ll get angry and have a typical tantrum. In the long run, they’ll be an impatient child and a future adult who behaves the same way.

If we teach little ones to have everything when they ask for it, they’ll develop anxiety when they don’t get it. For this reason, it’s essential to teach them to be patient and not give them what they want all the time.

A child who's frustrated with his school work.
We have to let our children grow, fail, and make mistakes, because that’s what learning is all about. If we do everything for them, what will they learn?

Regarding the risks of overeducating children

Overducating children isn’t the best way to raise them. What they really need are parents who guide them calmly and who don’t expect perfect or brilliant children, but happy ones. Of course, we should always accompany them with words that encourage them to be brave and fight for their dreams.

Teaching the value of effort from a young age is crucial for them to fight for their goals as adults.

The most valuable thing is to educate from love, empathy, understanding, trust, common sense, and always trying to provide a balance between emotion and reason.

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  • Naranjo Tamayo, E. V., & Tiahuaro Paucar, I. R. (2019). La sobreprotección infantil y su incidencia en el desarrollo emocional de niños de 3 a 4 años de edad (Bachelor’s thesis).
  • Cando Yaguar, M. E., & Campaña Toapanta, L. D. R. (2017). La sobreprotección infantil (Bachelor’s thesis, Latacunga: Universidad Técnica de Cotopaxi; Facultad de Ciencias Humanas y Educación; Licenciatura en Educación Básica).
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