9 Dangers of Overprotective Parenting
When parents are excessively dedicated to protecting their children from any potential threat, they often see danger where there is none. As a result, they’re constantly on alert, and their children grow up in a sort of bubble, disconnected from reality.
It’s true that children are defenseless against certain situations, which means they need a great deal of care and attention from adults. However, there comes a time when they also need to learn to solve problems on their own. This allows them to develop autonomy and personality .
When parents expose their children to excess worry and precaution, they negatively impact their children’s character and personality. This impact is difficult to undo in later stages of life. And, of course, this produces numerous difficulties.
The dangers of overprotective parenting
1. Low self-esteem
Self-esteem is something that children develop as they themselves face different challenges and difficulties – whether they overcome them or not. If they never have the opportunity to do so, given an overprotected childhood, they will be unable to gain self-confidence.
This quality will be in constant decline if parents don’t allow their children to manage certain things on their own. When parents do everything for their children, their children never discover their own abilities, nor do they develop the courage to face problems and challenges of everyday life.
When parents don’t allow their little ones to do things for themselves, these children don’t learn the value of effort. All they know how to do is make a request in order to get what they want. As a result, they become spoiled and lack empathy. They’re prone to crying and tantrums.
3. Children become dependent on their parents
As a result of overprotective parenting, children become excessively dependent on their parents. This is because their parents try to make their lives as easy as possible and solve every problem for them.
These children then become incapable of solving any issue without the help of their parents. Their autonomy and independence become severely limited. This behavior can last into the teenage years and even into adulthood.
“It’s true that children are defenseless against certain situations, which means they need a great deal of care and attention from adults. However, there comes a time when they also need to learn to solve problems on their own”
4. The development of fears and insecurities
When fear and worry dictate the way mothers and fathers raise their children, parents pass this fear and insecurity onto their little ones. Since these children don’t know how to manage on their own, they start to see everything as a potential threat.
This can even result in social phobias. When we give our children an overprotected childhood, we turn them into insecure individuals.
Rather, we need to give our children the opportunity to discover that they’re capable of achieving their goals.
5. Limited learning
People learn by experimenting and making mistakes. From the time we’re very small, we learn by trial and error. Sometimes we’re successful, sometimes we fail. We need to allow our children to have these experiences.
When children fail, we should teach them problem-solving skills rather than solving things for them. If our children know how to resolve daily difficulties, they will become responsible adults in the future .
6. Inability to tolerate frustration
Overprotected children always have someone there who fixes everything for them. Their parents even make their decisions, thus keeping them from making mistakes.
These attitudes are detrimental to a child’s development because parents don’t give them the opportunity to experience failure. Later on in life, when they face disappointment and frustration, these children don’t know how to handle it.
7. Behavioral issues
The lack of self-esteem that excessive care produces can also lead to behavioral problems later in life. These issues may appear when the child socializes with his or her peers, or during class. They can also have a negative effect on academic performance.
8. Lack of a sense of responsiblity
It’s important that we give our children responsibilities from a young age. We shouldn’t always help them with their daily chores like picking up toys and making their beds, nor should we make excuses for their mistakes or poor behavior. If we do, their sense of responsibility will slowly disappear.
Rules must apply from the time our children are small. They need to learn that to get along with others and live in society, we must take responsibility for our actions. With this valuable lesson, we’ll raise responsible and respectful children.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that, no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to shelter our little ones from all risk, disappointment and suffering. In life there are endless battles to fight, and we need to prepare our children to overcome any hurdle. Therefore, it’s crucial that we avoid falling into the habit of overprotective parenting.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Mosquera Howard, Y. N., Gutiérrez Esteban, S. P., & Vargas Amézquita, S. L. (2016). Desarrollo social en niños sobreprotegidos (Doctoral dissertation). http://repository.unac.edu.co/handle/11254/224
- Chávez, M. A. (2011). Hijos tiranos o débiles dependientes: el drama del hijo sobreprotegido. Grijalbo.
- Durán, I. G. Hijos sobreprotegidos: el peligro del narcisismo.
- Thomasgard, M., & Metz, W. P. (1993). Parental overprotection revisited. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 24(2), 67-80. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02367260
- Levy, D. M. (1943). Maternal overprotection. https://my.apa.org/apa/idm/login.seam?ERIGHTS_TARGET=http%3A%2F%2Fpsycnet.apa.org%2Frecord%2F1943-04306-000&AUTHENTICATION_REQUIRED=true