Top Ways to Tell You’re an Overprotective Parent

If you're worried that you're becoming the Blackhawk of mommies, check out our top ways to tell you're an overprotective parent!

In this day of Amber Alerts, school lockdowns and random violence, there are a lot of reasons to keep your children close to your heart. It’s  no wonder so many of us find ourselves becoming a little nervous when our kids are out of sight. But there’s a big difference between being careful and being a downright overprotective parent. When do you know you’ve crossed the line between being a concerned parent and becoming the Blackhawk Helicopter of the Parent World? Check out our top ways to tell if you’re an overprotective parent.

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

Top Ways to Tell You’re an Overprotective Parent

One of the earliest no-no’s is the limiting of risk-taking behavior. Children never learn their limitations, or their potential, when a parent is there to prevent learning through experience. A child who tumbles learning to walk learns their limits, but also learns to get back up again and do it for themselves. If you find yourself shrieking with fear every time your child looks longingly at that great climbing tree or a skateboard, it’s time to consider the fact that you’re an overprotective parent.

Injecting yourself into the classroom environment to micromanage your child’s progress has been proven by studies to have no net positive effect on your child’s academic trajectory. Judged against parents of similar children who have a more hands-off approach, the parentally over-involved children have no significant improvements. Let your child struggle through his own difficulties; rest easy you’re not single-handedly keeping him out of Harvard by doing it.

Related: Does Permissive Parenting Raise Out Of Control Kids?

Like our hunter-gatherer ancestors, let your children, especially your teenagers, forage for their own food. When a child is still in Oshkosh, by all means, make them ants on a log… but leave your teenager to slather on the peanut butter when he’s cramming for his mid-terms. Family dinners are important, but giving your child the gift of culinary competence will improve his health for life.

Allow your child to be himself or herself. Don’t fill the nursery with tiny stethoscopes and clipboards because you’ve already picked out his major in grad school. Some kids are into what their parents hope for, but then again some are not. Let your child find his own extra-curricular activities and interests- he might just teach you something in the process.

Do you think you might be an overprotective parent? Do you have any tips for letting go a little bit without completely becoming a free-range parent? Share in the comments!

8 thoughts on “Top Ways to Tell You’re an Overprotective Parent”

  1. You definitely have to allow them to learn from mistakes. If you constantly shield them, they’ll never learn not to make those mistakes when they’re on their own.

  2. I think you have to know your own children…as you can be too overprotective that they won’t be able to function in the real world!!! But it is a strange, weird world we live in now!

  3. I don’t mind being an overprotective parent.. and I actually think my kids prefer that I am because at least they know I care, whereas a lot of others… are questionable.

  4. I give my children as much freedom as I am comfortable with. The biggest rule in the house when the kids are going out is for them to write down four things in my planner – 1. Where are you going; 2. Who will you be with; 3. What time will I expect you to be home; 4. Home phone of the parents of one of friends you will be going out with. If they can’t make it on time as promised, I require a text message or a phone call.

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