How to avoid overprotecting your child

Newborn children require all kinds of attention, 24 hours a day. They need us to be with them all the time and protect them. That’s why protecting children is a natural and intuitive thing to do, but then the time to set certain limits to this conduct will inevitably come, because excessive attention and protection can become a negative factor in the development of your child’s personality.

In the past, large families were more common and it was not possible to overprotect one’s children. Today, the pace of life for parents and the evolution of family design has led to a decrease in the number of children per family and it has become normal for couples to have no more than two children. For many parents, children become a highly planned life project, which leads them to limit the autonomy and independence of their offspring by overprotecting them.

Usually, overprotection is the result of the parents’ own personality or special circumstances, such as the fact that the child has been highly desired because of a conception problem on the part of one of the parents or the fact that the child suffers from a serious or chronic illness. The constant presence of the Internet and social networks in our children’s lives makes us as parents nervous and worried about what our child is doing when they go online, so we try to supervise and control their virtual actions.

Consequences of overprotection

The studies carried out by specialists show that overprotected and overly surrounded children do not properly develop the capacities they possess and do not assume their responsibilities because of the constant presence of their parents. The overprotection of children causes a series of symptoms that will exist throughout their lives, depriving them of the opportunity to develop strategies and solutions to the problems they face. The other most common consequences of overprotection of children are the following:

  1. Overprotected children develop a sense of worthlessness and dependency. They find it difficult to make plans and are afraid of what they do not know.
  2. They lack initiative, creativity and self-esteem, which prevents them from developing their skills.
  3. They do not show interest in their personal talents or in the needs of those around them and become self-centered.
  4. They do not tolerate frustration and are generally dissatisfied with their own successes.
  5. They often show little empathy, are fearful and have difficulty connecting with others.

The Limits of Parental Protection

To try to remedy this situation, it is important for parents to know the limits of their role, to know what actions are normal in their child and what actions require their attention. You need to let your children make their own experiences, make mistakes and learn from their mistakes. You can help them find the solution to a specific problem, but it’s better for them to see the different possibilities on their own, to learn to consider them one by one and to make their choice, taking responsibility for the consequences.

Let your child freely manage his relationships with his peers, play with other children and enjoy them. Let him have activities in which he feels good, without preventing him from carrying them out, but without forcing him to do so: by letting him decide for himself.

It is important to encourage their autonomy and help them to take responsibility, letting them do age-appropriate tasks, such as making their bed, setting the table, etc. The presence and help of parents is important for him to learn how to do them properly, but this parental involvement should not be excessive.

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