© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams
More and more studies have authenticated that children of overprotective parents are risk aversive, have difficulty making decisions, and lack the wherewithal to become successful in life. Furthermore, children of overprotective parents cannot deal adequately with hardships and other frustrations of life. In other words, they have very low tolerance for frustration- they crumble at the first sign of frustration. Safe is to give them a little taste of danger. (Ted video)
Oftentimes, overprotective parents believe that they are doing the best for their children. It is their intention that their children have the best that life could offer.
Children of overprotected parents are often sheltered from the "harsher" "more difficult" and "less desirable" aspects of childhood. These children are often not free to indulge in unsupervised activities like other children as their parents are of the school that the best activities are supervised activities. They are not assigned household chores and other responsibilities because their parents contend that such are an anathema to a carefree childhood.
Overprotective parents are invasive in other ways. They solve problems for their children that the latter are often capable of solving themselves. They infantilize their children by making them feel incapable of charting their own course. In fact, overprotective parents are making their children extremely dependent and infantilized beyond appropriate ages.
Teachers are not especially pleased with children of overprotected parents. These teachers often have to assume quasiparental roles with these children such as tying their shoes and performing other tasks that they should be performing themselves. Many teachers voice utter dismay at the backwardness of overprotected children. These are the children who have poor and/or nonexistent social, emotional, and survival skills.
Furthermore, such children are often the most difficult pupils around. These children often expect teachers to mollycoddle them as their parents have done. They get quite a surprise when teachers treat them like their other students. Oftentimes, these children cannot adjust well to the school environment where some sort of independence is required.
Children of overprotective parents are often years behind in maturity in comparison to their more free range peers. Teachers further remark that children of overprotective parents are highly dependent, insisting to be assisted as much as possible. Teachers do not have the time to individually assist each child as there is often many children in the classroom setting. In other words, overprotective children pose are quite problematic for teachers.
Overprotected children, because of their upbringing, have a sense of entitlement and that they should have their way. They were not inundated by their parents that they are NOT the center of the universe and they must learn to cooperate with others. Because they are inundated with a high sense of specialness, they often become quite unhinged when situations are not in their favor.
Many such children are often prey for school bullies because they did not develop the social and/or street savvy needed to survive the school environment. Bullies usually target children who are quite defenseless and extremely vulnerable. In other words, bullies do not attack children who possess self-confidence, social and street savvy for they know it would be a losing battle.Overprotected children are often not respected by their peers because of their quite infantile mannerisms. Their peers consider them utter misfits. Such children do not have the bounce and competitiveness that children from free range environments often possess. They are often needy and dependent at an age when gradual independence should occur.
Oftentimes overprotected children are years behind in development in comparison to their peers. Of course, when parents excessively infantilize their children, it makes them socially, emotionally, and psychological retarded. Even though these children earn high grades, they lack common sense preparedness. Other children sense this and these children are often targeted not only by bullies but other stronger children.
Overprotected children are sheltered and not aware of age appropriate life situation. An overprotected 13 year old often acts if he/she is several years younger than their actual chronological age. They are also overly dependent upon their parents as they were seldom, if ever, allowed to independently explore their social environment as other children do. For example, I remember when I was in eighth grade, there was a boy whose mother took him to school everyday. There was nothing wrong with the boy. He was an honor student.
The other pupils in the class found it totally absurd and ludicrous that a mother would take her 13 year old child to school. He would be constantly be derided by the other children, being called a mama's boy or worse. There is more to the story, if his mother did not take him to school, his father did! Even the teachers disrespected him, calling him an infant. To make matter worse, when the weather was bad and/or inclement, he stayed home from school. That w as the issue of overprotectiveness taken to the multillionth degree!
This boy never participated in school events as many of them were unsupervised. His parents insisted upon being present at his every move. Of course, he never had any friends while in the eighth grade. The other children thought that he was too peculiar and babyish. Some of the other boys consistently bullied him to no end. Everywhere he went was with his parents. This is clearly abnormal for an early adolescent who should be forming some type of friendship and/or independence.
Overprotected teenagers are often lost in comparison to their more free range peers. While their free range peers are free to explore adolescence in all its intricacies, the overprotected teenager is either kept under a severely tight rein and/or overly scheduled in activities of their parents' choosing. They are treated more like children than as the burgeoning independent adults they are becoming.
These teenagers often have quaintly inappropriate curfews for their ages while other peers have more relaxed curfews. Many overprotected teenagers become resigned to their parental influence, just accepting it as their lot in life. Oftentimes, overprotected teenagers accept their overprotective environment as normal. Some are so infantilized and passive that they believe that they can do nothing about it.
Overprotected teenagers are more at a loss in the high school environment than their counterparts in either elementary and junior high school. These teenagers often have nonexistent and/or extremely poor social skills. This makes them outcasts and pariahs among their peers. Teachers furthermore find such teenagers distressing and disturbing to say the least. These teenagers are emotionally at the preschool level in many ways.
Overprotected teenagers are the most dependent and risk aversive teens around. Because many of them had no freedom and time to indulge in unsupervised behavior, many of them become quite unhinged when presented with an opportunity to participate in independent behavior. If you have noticed the teenagers who are the wildest and the most rebellious at gatherings, it is usually the overprotective ones who were kept under severely close reins by their parents.
During the college years, many overprotected young adults find it extremely difficult and onerous to adjust to college/university life. This applies especially if they elect to attend college and/or university away from their parents' domiciles. These are the young adults who possess very little and/or no sort of life skills. They are often a horror to the more responsible roommate who was raised to be independent from an early age.
These young adults are extremely dependent and are unaccustomed to independent behavior and decision making. Many of these students have parents who choose their college/university and their majors in the hopes that everything will be smooth for them. However, many of these overprotected students flunk out of college/university because they clearly do not possess the prerequisite independence to survive and thrive in college/university.In the work world, overprotected young adults fare even worse. Supervisors and superiors are neither going to tolerate nor placate this infantilized adult. Many employers express dismal horror at incoming prospective employees whose overprotective parents come with them during interviews. This was never done before. It used to be when a prospective employee goes for a job interview, he/she went alone as his/her parents figure that it is his/her interview, not theirs. Oh no, there is a "new" style of parenting which the parent is very involved in his/her child's life even though that "child" is considered an adult in societal eyes.
These parents appear at their child's interview, informing the interview of how special their child is and what skills he/she has which can contribute to the company. Of course, many interviewers are quite nonplussed at this. They figure, and rightly, that something is quite amiss here. This "adult-child" is quite immature and would be bad news to the company and/or corporation. The prospect of this "adult-child" getting a job is now dismal to none. Who wants an employee that one must constantly babysit and hand his/her hand. Not any right minded, thinking employer!
If these adult-children are hired, they are going to be a vast and immense hemorrhoid to the company and corporation. These adult-children are often the worst employees. They possess no concept of initiative nor independent thinking. They constantly want to be told what to do as befitting their familial environment. Forget about ever being promoted, these employees are clearly not promotable. On the contrary, these employees are more likely to be fired- let us say serially fired. Overprotected adult-children are more likely to be unemployable than their peers who were raised in a more independent environment.
Regarding relationships, these adult-children are often at the extreme passive end of any relationship they go into. Most of the relationships, whether it is platonic or romantic, do not last very long. No person wants to compete with the every omnipresence of a parent and/or parents regarding relationships. People often avoid relationships with such adult-children as the relationship can be called vampiric in more ways than one. These people are viewed as babies and no one wants to babysit an adult. Many adult-children, because of their lack of savvy and social skills, enter into abusive relationship when their partner is the more dominant and/or pa rental partner. Even though this relationship is often abusive and unequal, these adult-children reluctantly remain in such relationships because they do not possess the means to dissolve the relationship.
In conclusion, overprotected children are slated for failure in school and in life. These children are so infantilized by their parents that they cannot survive the school environment. Teachers view the overprotected child as backwards emotionally, socially, and psychologically even though he/she can be academically prodigious. Other children often avoid them because of their needy and dependent nature. They are often a target for bullies because of their lack of social skills and street smarts.
Overprotected teenagers do not possess the skills that other teenagers possess. They are often not capable of indulging in independent social activities which is necessary in their development. Many overprotected teenagers are treated as if they are in preschool by their parents- they are often given harsher and stricter curfews than their peers. Oftentimes, the only nonschool activities overprotected teenagers indulge in are those mandated by their parents and/or supervised by adults. Many overprotective parents believe that the teenage years are highly vulnerable and it is best that their teenagers be supervised as much as possible in order "to stay out of trouble."
During the college years, many overprotected children cannot reasonably adjust to the rigors of college/university life. More so if they elect to attend college/university away from their parents' domicile. Because college/university is a more independent and unstructured environment than either elementary, junior high, and/or high school, the typical overprotected college/university student cannot survive thus they often flunk out.
In the work world or the "real world", overprotected children are quite abysmal failures. They often do not possess the skills necessary to thrive and survive in the work world. They possess no or low self-confidence, no initiative, and a low tolerance for frustration and hardships which is often commonplace in the work environment. Furthermore, the supervisor and/or superior is NOT their parent but someone who expects them to contribute and pull their weight. Many overprotected child end up being terminated from their employment-not once but several times. More often become quite unemployable.
Overprotected children fare worse in relationships where equality is required. They are often at the extreme passive end of relationships as they were raised that way by their parents. Oftentimes, because of their extreme lack of social skills and their passivity, they are drawn into relationships where their partner is often more dominant than they are. Even though these relationships are quite abusive and Svengali-like, they prefer to stay in the "safety" of such relationships than to develop a backbone and have a more fulfilling relationship.
Overprotected children end up to be failures in life in more ways than one. Overprotective parents are only damaging their children and either do not or refuse to acknowledge this. Many overprotected children remain in their symbiotic state until it is quite too late to change! Let us raise our children to be fully functioning and independent adults!
'Another pitfall of overprotection is a heartbreaking irony: Because over-parented children are taught to obsess over themselves, they don’t learn how to connect with others. Helicopter parents, who think they are drenching their children with love, are raising lonely sons and daughters. The kids’ constant self-focus, developed under the tonnage of unending parental intervention, handicaps them in every social setting.
These lonely children tend strongly toward depression—again, they don’t learn how to think and choose for themselves, and their brain gradually becomes more and more unable to manage their situations. Furthermore, because their parents’ words and actions teach them that virtually everyone else is an enemy or an antagonist, they can also become unreasonably suspicious, or in a word, paranoid." Paul Coughlin (author)
Says Michael Liebowitz, clinical professor and head of the Anxiety Disorders clinic at New York State Psychiatric Institute: [Children] need to be gently encouraged to take risks and learn that nothing terrible happens. They need gradual exposure to find that the world is not dangerous. Having overprotective parents is a risk factor for anxiety disorders because children do not have opportunities to master their innate shyness and become more comfortable in the world