How to Know if You are Overparenting

The other day someone made the comment to me “People are so stupid.”  I thought to myself “That’s probably because they were overparented.”  Overparenting produces ill equipped, incapable, irresponsible adults who don’t know how to problem solve, how to navigate life and usually expect others to carry their burdens.  This is never the intended outcome of a parent but it is the outcome they will get.  What a disservice to their kids.

Do you overparent?  Here’s three indicators that would suggest you do.

1. Your child calls or texts you with every problem he encounters.  If your child is contacting you all throughout the day about everything, whether it’s a hang nail or a really grumpy teacher, this shows they don’t have the confidence or skill to resolve issues on their own.  It’s likely they don’t have the confidence or skill because you have not allowed them to grow emotionally as they grow physically.

2. Your child can’t handle disappointment.  No one enjoys disappointment. But disappointment should not cause a complete meltdown.  Resiliency is one of the strongest signs of good parenting. If your child has never practiced resiliency because you have done everything you can to protect him from disappointment, he will not be able to handle the inevitable adversity he will face in life.

3. Your child avoids hard work and looks for short cuts.  Kids today are used to having service providers… and by service providers I mean parents who do everything like driving, cooking, laundry, cleaning, paying for everything, etc.  This produces unrealistic expectations in your child that everything will be done for them throughout life.  So when this child (now or as an adult) needs to complete a task they see as difficult or unappealing they will do anything they can to get out of it or take a short cut.

No one reading this blog has the intention of producing incapable, irresponsible adults.  But by shielding them from hurt, hard work and disappointment we are doing just that.  It can be really difficult to change his dynamic.  But it’s possible!  Don’t lose hope.  If you need some help with it, give me a call.  You’re not alone.

Written by Lisa Smith


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