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Overprotective parenting dangerous for children

Friday, May 19 2017

THE EDITOR: An overprotective and controlling parenting style has proven to create anti- social behaviour and delinquency in children and young adults. The effect was strongest for parents who combined a controlling style with hostility and being overly strict.

Overprotective parenting is moderately associated with childhood delinquency. A more moderate and balanced level of monitoring and consistent, reasonable disciplinary limits have proven to create low levels of delinquency.

Modern parenting trends favour an overprotective parenting style, based on adults’ unrealistic and illogical fears of the dangers faced by their children.

The children of overprotective, rigid parents fail to systematically learn from their mistakes and, therefore, fail to become independent.

The result of that is an immature adult who defers to his or her parents for even the most basic decision-making and continues to live at home well into his or her adulthood.

When these dependent young adults attempt new tasks, they tend to fail because they have not developed fundamental skills as children.

This lack of competency leads to feelings of poor self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and increased dependency.

The children of overprotective, strict parents display an inability to manage even daily stressors, have poor time management skills, lack creativity and fail to enjoy new experiences.

Children raised by overprotective, strict parents report having trouble as adults in maintaining happy and fulfilling relationships.

Some children, for example, are still giving large sums of money to their parents, which interferes with their ability to contribute financially to their own future families. Others cannot make decisions in their own marriages, instead relying on their parents to make important life-changing decisions for their own families.

Everyone seems to come to the conclusion that overprotective parenting is bound to fail.

Most agree it is probably not good for children.

And yet, the trend toward this parenting style grows stronger each year.

Maintaining a closer eye and focusing most of our attention on our children may simply be the new trend in this age of irrational parenting.

We’re having far fewer children because of financial challenges, so it seems to make sense that we would treasure and have a desire to hold on to them to a more obsessive degree.

But common sense — and even a healthy amount of science — indicates that taking a slight step back is the best course of action.

SIMON WRIGHT Chaguanas

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