Overprotective parents have good intentions, but by doing the following they leave their kids ill-equipped to deal with the real world.
1. Tries to solve all of their children's problems. When difficulties arise, they are quick to take control and make certain their youngsters do not experience any discomfort.
2. Has frequent contact with their child's school. Rather than coach their child on how to navigate an issue, they immediately contact teachers and principals to resolve even the most minor of problems.
3. Does everything to guarantee their child will always be successful. Kids learn lots from failure and frustration, but overprotective parents discourage their children from involvement in any activity that may result in any uncomfortable feelings.
4. Is overly supportive and sympathetic when things don't go well. It's great when kids share their feelings with us, but kids need to learn how to deal with sadness, anger, and conflict. Don't go to extraordinary lengths to listen and reassure, but rather help your child learn to accept and get over tough situations.
5. Manages friendships. Other kids have a big influence on your child, and it's tempting to discourage your child's contact with children you find unacceptable. Youngsters need to figure out this stuff on their own, and learn about what it really means to be a friend.
6. Talks too much. Overprotective parents are constantly concerned about their child's well-being, and talk endlessly to their child, spouse, other parents and professionals seeking reassurance that all is well.
7. Is too intrusive in their child's world. Being hyper vigilant about their child's welfare, these types of parents want to know everything about what is going on with their youngsters, whether they are raising a 7- or 17-year-old. They do not respect their child's right to have an inner world and keep private certain feelings and thoughts.
8. Expects few household chores or responsibilities. This parenting style results in adults catering to their children's whims, without any reciprocal family responsibilities taken on by the child. Kids' thoughts, feelings, and needs are always the highest family priority.
9. Discourages their kids from taking risks. Overprotective parents go to extraordinary lengths to protect their kids from any physical threat or uncomfortable emotional experience. This results in kids taking few risks since their parent's goal is for them to always feel good.
10. Fails to teach their children about the real world. As adults, we know that there are times when the world is unfair, confusing and evil. Children need to learn how to deal in a positive way with such negative attributes rather than being sheltered from the dark side of life.
Dr. Gregory Ramey is the executive director of Dayton Children Hospital's Pediatric Center for Mental Health Resources. Email: Rameyg@childrensdayton.org.
New York Times