Top Signs That You Are an Obsessive Parent

Being an obsessive parent isn't just harmful to your children's overall well-being, it's also really tough on you! Learn the top signs and how to avoid it!

Obsessive Parenting is a disjointed view of ourselves as heads of our families. It is a holdover from the Golden Age of Television, where mothers had all the chores done before kids came running through the door, and dads were always tweed bound, pipe-smoking, amiable pocket money providing, problem-solving machines. It is a dangerously taut environment in which to raise a child, as it can cause your kids to become neurotic, sickly and anxious.

Related: Helicopter Parenting: Are You Ruining Your Child’s Future?

Top Signs That You Are an Obsessive Parent

It is important to recognize the signs of Obsessive Parenting so that you can tone it down, giving your kids- and yourself- room to enjoy life. One of the top signs of this tendency is never to feel you are entitled to relax. When your obligations to shuttle kids out the door for the day are done, do you feel accomplished, or merely as though you are somehow behind on the list of chores you must do?

If you feel behind, you’re an obsessive parent. If you feel as though you’ve never hit that ‘finish line’, where you can sit back and enjoy a job well done, that’s another warning sign of O.P. The confusion in your mind comes from the idea that your job as a parent comes in neat, tidy, half-hour increments, and that it is an episode written with a satisfying conclusion. Parenting is a part of you, like breathing- you can refine it and make it work wonders for your well-being, but you don’t want to be done with it anytime soon.

Foregoing time to relax is a major sign of Obsessive parenting, as is withholding rewarding activities (yes, a nap is a rewarding activity!) so that you can try to ‘accomplish’ more on your Parenting List. Cutting off your interests as an individual, be they physical or social, only compounds the stress that leads to Obsessive Parenting.

The bottom line- relax. People have been doing what you are for a long time. It’s been working out just fine, and it will work for your family, too- even if the floor isn’t mopped. When you’re not stretched so thin, it’s easier to take a step back and not let the day-to-day issues that arise totally overwhelm you.

Do you find yourself relating to these signs of being an obsessive parent? How do you take a step back when parenting obligations threaten to completely overwhelm your sense of self? Share your tips and stories in the comments below!


27 thoughts on “Top Signs That You Are an Obsessive Parent”

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  5. I’ve been working on trying not to be such an obsessive parent. Finding the time to just relax, like you mentioned above, is definitely so important. Also me time…. I notice i’m so much more patient and calm when I’ve set aside some me time. Thanks for this great article!

  6. great tips. I’m usually more of a relaxed parent. I like my kids to figure sutff out on their own. i’m always here to help but they should at least try.

  7. Can understand why some parents may become a bit obsessive. The daily news seems to paint the world as a scary place full of terrible things waiting for us around every corner. Fear brings out all sorts of behavioral reactions.

  8. My daughter is 28 years old and I am still extremely protective. I was never obsessive or an helicopter parent but I have her back like a tigress and a hawk! Now, with my granddaughter – the FBI will need to suit me up! Just saying.

  9. As the child of someone who has obsessive parents, I can say that avoiding becoming one is probably the best thing that you can do for your kid. You need to watch out for them but you can only protect them from so much.

  10. There are time when I think that I’m being a tough mom, so I sit down and think about my actions and how my kids have reacted to them. I want to make sure that I am giving them the right balance when it comes to parenting.

  11. I think I am somewhat protective. I do believe every child needs to experience ups and down so they can deal with consequences. Parents can’t do it all.

  12. I don’t have children but I can certainly understand how in today’s world parents would be obsessive about watching over their kids. There is a lot of evil in this world.

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