All parents care about their children; about their education, food, security etc. But sometimes this concern can be transformed into something almost obsessive that compels some parents to constantly monitor every movement of their children and be over controlling. Some children of overprotective parents can end up being aggressive, but can also develop a withdrawn or anti-social personality. Such children also tend to be insecure, have low self-esteem because they never feel safe without their parents. They have no experience dealing with stress and do not know how to do it when they really need to start living on their own. In this paper an introduction of overly protective parents is given discussing the reasons why some parents are over protective. Then the effects of over protection on children are discussed and then the counseling of such children is recommended.
The Overly Protective Parents
Overprotective parents are those who spend hours wondering and worrying about their children. It is not necessarily to spoil the children; it's just an intense and excessive emotional involvement and also implies the need to control the child. All this leads to a dependence of both parents on their children and vice versa. Though apparently it may seem a great relationship, but this can result in huge problems in the future of the children. The results are noticeable in their adult age, but no one knows the causes of these characteristics, which grow into personality problems (Clinton, Sibcy, 2006). A child, who has grown up in an environment where he/she gets too much of attention, and care often ends up having serious issues when he/she becomes an adult because parents have high expectations which he/she cannot live up to.
The parents must accept their child as it is, regarding their physique, their strengths, personality, way of being, etc..; not be obsessed with the child; teach things that their children do not know and do things for their children not for themselves, even if they do wrong or take a long time in learning anything, avoid instilling fear in the children. Right or wrong, whatever has to happen will happen in any case (Ong, Nolan, Irvine, Kovacs, 2010).
Parents must not impose their own ideas and dreams on their children. Children should have their own thinking and ideas. Parents should try to encourage their children and not be afraid of failure. They should communicate on daily basis and try to listen and understand although their ideas or beliefs might not be like that of the parents. Praise their good qualities or recognize their achievements and failures, promoting their individuality; encourage them to express their feelings, whether of happiness or sadness, show interest in the child's life, but not wanting to control it. Parents think that love and extra care is all that the children need although children require a lot of other things also from their parents besides love: (Wood, McLeod, Sigman, Hwang, Chu, 2003)
- Adaptation and recognition;
- Respect and tolerance for their ideas and feelings;
- Freedom to make their own decisions;
- To promote creativity;
- Feeling of having contributed to something;
- Opportunity to share the feelings of loss, grief or anger.
Overprotective Parents' Actions
These are some ways in which overprotective parents, over protect their children: a) do not set rules or limits to children, and when to encourage a rule b) do not apply penalty for disobedience, c) do not have the courage to correct the poor performance, d) focus on correcting the damage caused by the misconduct (on the child), e) anticipate the needs and desires (expressed or not) by their children, is typical of them to buy something their children have not requested, either because he was alone, because he might be crying, or just because their friends already have and he does not (Cloud, Townsend, 2001).
Reasons for Being Overly Protective For Children
One of the reason why some parents are overly protective of their children is that they love being protective about their children and love them so much. Other reasons for being obsessed and controlling are: (Emler, 2001)
- Building up their own the self-worth: a person who never feels good about himself tries to compensate by showing that he/she can be a good father or a good mother.
- To compensate for their own deprivations: a common phrase in the parents is "do not want my child to suffer all that I have suffered."
- To relieve guilt and discomfort: sometimes the child's frustrations lead parents to relive their own failures and pains and it makes them feel uncomfortable and thus they try hard to keep their children away from such failures and setbacks.
- To fill the emptiness inside. Most parents after divorce give more attention to their children to give them everything they lack or have lacked in their own childhood.
- To compensate for the absence of the other parent. A parent can be an alcoholic, selfish, sick, and be indifferent or abuse the child in many ways, the other feels guilty and fears that the child will grow up with emotional problems if his/her needs are not deal with;
- To compensate for the very absence. Parents are very concerned about their work and spend very little time at home and in order to compensate for their absence they shower their children with gifts and spoil them to the extreme.
Overly Protective Parents
Overprotection is a style of parenting that has as main characteristic the excess of care and/or protection to the children, as parents we need to provide safety and security so that they grow up healthy and safe, both physically and mentally, but grant it to excess is harmful, especially the psychological damage it causes. Studies have found that the mostly the parents who live in any of these situations tend to be overprotective: first-time parents, parents with a special child, parents who had many shortcomings in child's infancy, parents also were overprotected, parents with a sick child and parents who handle guilt for being absent, single parent (Fletcher, Steinberg, Williams-Wheeler, 2004).
An overprotective father is convinced that his son does not have the necessary strength to face life and is committed to make way and settle the problems. An overprotective father is intolerant of frustration in the child, for example, if the child does not finish his/her work for whatever reason, he will apologize to the teacher making excuses, and this overprotective parent will not allow his child to experience the call of detention.
Parents who do not communicate with their children openly because of being controlling and over protective often affect the life of their children negatively. Such parents feel that their child even when he/she grows up cannot live independently because he/she is unable to take care of himself/herself. The expectations that overprotective parents have from their children, become a standard for the children in order to evaluate other people also. The children have the same ideas and judgments as that of their parents, and when these children grow up, they are projected onto their friends and lovers which often results in unsuccessful relationships and thus disappointed (Fletcher, Steinberg, Williams-Wheeler, 2004). Often both parents are so demanding that children, when they are older, they need someone to rely on, friend or partner, just like they were dependent on their parents.
The parents who are overly controlling; who try to change their children's attitude, reactions and behaviors transfer this trait to their children and when these children grow up, they try to change other people who are in their lives. Such people are never satisfied and happy in their relationships because they always feel that something is missing in the other person. The other person could be wonderful, but these people who have had overly protective parents do not realize that and are disappointed.
Now the question is to educate a child or not? And if yes then to what extent should the child be educated or controlled by the parents? Parents should educate and love their children but to an extent that their own (the child's) personality is not ignored. Parents who love their children want their happiness, but you have to differentiate whether it is trying to get the happiness of the child or his own.
These facts are simply hypothetical, because it does not mean that every child overprotected in childhood will have the same symptoms in adulthood. Although there are more chances that such affects will be more negative than positive in most cases than people have perceived (Flouri, Buchanan, 2002). It is clear that parents play a vital role in the education of children, and this have an important role in their child's future personality. Yet this is not to provide guidance as the most appropriate guidelines to be followed in the education of a child, but as a general rule it can be followed that certain unconscious and sometimes-conscious behavior of parents can have a negative…