Parents always want to make their children happy, satisfied and protect them at every stage of life. In their efforts to keep their children protected in all situations, parents sometimes tend to over-indulge themselves into every aspect of their children’s lives, especially academics and friends. Further, parents, who are over-protective, try to maintain tight control over their children, for which they keep constant contact through SMSes and phone calls. Although parents do all this for the well-being of their children, they often do not realise that excess of anything is bad. By over-protecting their children, parents are indeed depriving them from facing the challenging situations in their lives, which in turn makes them grow into insensitive and irresponsible adults.
So, you as a parent should realise that there is a fine line between an over-protective and a concerned parent. By constantly interfering into your child’s life, you are actually doing more harm than good. Also, you should remember that a child, who grows under the care of an over-engaged, over-concerned and over-protective parent, will never be able to shoulder the responsibility that comes with the growing age. Therefore, let your child enjoy the pleasure of being parented under your loving guidance, supervision and support rather than being over-protected. Further, read the tips given below and learn how not to be over-concerned & over-protected about your child.
Know your child – Know how much protectiveness is required for your child’s age and the level of development. For this, observe your child and notice her strengths, weaknesses, needs and preferences. This reality check will help you in knowing the situations wherein you need to offer your support and the circumstances wherein you should leave your child on her own.
Keep an open communication – Every day in the evening, have open discussion with your child and encourage her to share all her concerns with you, freely. Listen to your child and ask her to tell you what she wants in a particular situation i.e. whether she wants you to take the lead or simply needs your suggestion. Such an open communication will bring you even closer to your child.
Reshape your behaviour – Once you have analysed how much protective you need to be for your child, reshape your behaviour. Change yourself from being an over-concerned parent to a mentor, by not intruding into the smallest aspects of your child’s life. For instance, whenever you tend to limit your child’s behaviour, then put yourself into her situation and think from her point of view. Analyse how you would feel if you are being pressurised to think, act or make decisions in a particular way. This self-analysis will reduce your tendency to become a ‘helicopter’ parent to your child.
Uphold your child’s individuality – Give your child the much required individual space and provide her with enough opportunities to express her opinions, her feelings and emotions. Respecting your child’s privacy to the required extent will make her feel that you are not an over-concerned parent and will also pave the way for a friendly and healthy relationship with you.
Allow your child to explore her surroundings – Let your child explore her environment without your undue interference. Encourage her to make new friends and participate in group activities that will put her into various situations wherein she needs to deal with different people. In fact, facing different situations and mingling with different people will help your child to grow into an assertive and competent adult. However, make sure that she is in the right company.
Let your child experience her life’s lessons – Rather than saving your child from challenging situations, allow her to encounter her life’s challenges and also experience tough situations with courage & confidence. Make her capable of protecting herself in such circumstances on her own, in a sensible manner. Also, motivate her to use such situations as the opportunities to learn & grow. Once she faces the situation and overcomes it successfully, she will capable of handling similar situations in the future, with ease.
Do not always run for rescue – Whenever your child is in difficulty, do not rush to fix the problem for her, especially when there is no potential harm associated with the particular situation. Instead, take a step backwards and ask your child to look into the matter on her own, with patience. Also, motivate her to find the best ways to overcome the situation herself.
Make her independent – Allow your child to make independent decisions and choices as she grows, so that she does not feel that you are pressurising her to obey you, at every step. This sense of independence will also raise the self-esteem of your child and make her realise that her individuality is being respected. Also, make your child responsible & accountable for her own life & decisions.
Be her moral support – Above all, make sure that in your quest of reducing your over-protectiveness, you do not completely back-off from your responsibility as a parent. Be ready with your support, whenever your child needs you the most. Always do this in a subtle way, to make her feel that you are not overtly protective about her.
Lastly, apart from reducing your tendency to become over-concerned and over-protective about your child, instill in yourself the confidence, trust and belief about your child’s capability to handle challenging situations on her own, without your interference. This confidence, belief and trust that you reflect upon your child will make her self-dependent, smart, strong, confident, courageous and competent individual.