5 signs you are overparenting your child
A child is a bud which needs support to grow and bloom like a flower. Where this bud is weak enough that it needs the support from the stem, it is strong enough to deal with the extreme heat, wind pressure from the external world, without you protecting it. It is the same case with your child. As a parent, you play a very important part in your child’s life, right from the day the child comes in the womb. And, while supporting their growth, you might happen to fall in the trap of coming off as overprotective to your child. While supporting your children can be a boon for them, any signs of overparenting can really put them into spells of self-doubts and suffocation of not being able to be themselves.
Barbara Coloroso once said, “Encouraging a child means that one or more of the following critical life messages are coming through, either by word or by action: I believe in you, I trust you, I know you can handle this, You are listened to, You are cared for, You are very important to me.” And as rightly pointed out by him, that your children need you to trust them, to let you allow them to experiment flying on their own wings. As a parent, we understand your fears and the great deal of responsibility you hold in letting your children not fall in any misleading trap, but dear parents, here is a little knowledge we want to through right away. Overparenting won’t help them grow, and we know, this is not a thing that you would want.
Here are a few questions you must ask yourself to decide if you are over-parenting your child
1. Do you struggle in allowing your child in making their own choices?
Well, this is a subjective question and as a parent, we trust your conscience in knowing your child. We agree that you can’t let your child decide everything for themselves but you should not decide everything for them. And, if you do, you might need to relook at your parenting style. Show confidence in your child, give them the wisdom to make a choice, tell them about everything they need to know before making any choice and then give them time to choose what they want for themselves. Well, it all starts from small things that may include letting them choose the dress they like, the game they want to play, the way they want to dress in and the way the colour they want to choose.
2. Do you give your child enough responsibilities?
Do you do everything for your child, right from setting their timetable to giving them a glass of water in their hands? Do you ever give them responsibilities of doing their work and helping in daily chores? If not, you are over parenting. As your child grows, ensure that you increase giving them responsibilities of the things they can do. Make them feel like they are responsible for a particular work and that out of all the people who could do it, you find your child, the best to do the same. Show trust in them. These responsibilities can be as simple as that of making them fill the water bottles and letting them organise the dining table or setting up their time table on their own. Obviously, you can guide them through, but let them do it.
3. Are you imposing the perfectionist theory and age-appropriate expectations on their child?
Do you tell your child that you are of a particular age and this is something you must have known? Or, do you tell your child about being perfect at a few things? Well, if you do so, you might be overparenting. Every child is unique and has their own way of understanding and grasping things. Expectations can be lethal for their growth as once they fail to stand out on your expectations, they might not tell you but they get hurt. And, appropriating any knowledge on the basis of age is imposing nothing but expectations. Tell your kid, the value of what they are learning, and let them learn at their own pace.
4. Are you okay if your child is failing?
Do you tell your child that they have to win? Do you tell them that you will buy them XYZ thing only if they happen to win? Do you get disheartened when your child fails? Do you tell them it is completely okay to fail at a certain thing? Do you tell them that losing is a part of life as a person either wins or learns, they never lose? Well if not, you are over parenting.
5. Do you argue or feel unsafe in the way other adult treats your child?
Well, this is again a subjective question and it is something that will vary from case to case, but if you are frequently doubting all the adults who happen to speak to your child, and are involved in their growth like teachers, doctors, daycare incharges, etc., then you might be over parenting. Question yourself, if the person is doing anything wrong to your child, ask yourself, what you would have done if you would have been in their situation. If they are doing any different from that, yet it is not harmful, let them do it.
These are a few signs of overparenting. As a parent, we know there can’t be anyone who can help your child more than you. But your helping them in their growth should not be overprotecting. Give them wings to enjoy their life in their own way.
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