Is overparenting stunting children’s development?

It has recently been reported that the new wave of parents who over-parent their children are at risk of stunting their development

It has recently been reported that the new wave of parents who over-parent their children are at risk of stunting their development. All parents want to do the best for their kids but everything in moderation is advised as overparenting can have a negative effect on them. Being supportive, caring and involved is a great way to be but there is a line in ensuring your kids grow to be self-sufficient and independent. Children that are overparented tend to have lower self-sufficiency skills and they usually have an extreme case of entitlement. They are of course, well-intentioned but if you are unsure of whether you are overparenting or not you can check this list below:
  • Get into power struggles. Power struggles with others is a sure-fire sign that you are overparenting. Are you arguing with people who question your methods? Are you butting heads with your child’s teacher because they think your child needs to be more responsible? There really is no need to get yourself into arguments with others because they have noted how your child is behaving due to your overparenting. Instead, consider the advice helpful and work to alter your methods. 
  • Stand up for them. You may find yourself arguing with kids on the street if they say something mean to your kid, however, children should be able to manage these situations themselves. It isn’t nice but social skills are vital for kids and by interfering you may do more harm than good. This doesn’t mean you should ignore things either but be careful of what needs your interference and what doesn’t.
  • Do everything for them. Are you the type of parent who is running around after your child? Do you get their drinks, snacks and literally clean around after them? Ask yourself about your child’s age and consider whether they should be doing these things themselves. Most children aged five should be able to clean their toys away, 7 or 8-year olds can pour a bowl of cereal. Don’t underestimate your child as they can do things themselves. 
  • Too much worrying. If you are a parent who is constantly worrying about your child you are probably overparenting. Sure, most parents worry but not consistently and most will let their kids decipher what is working for them and what isn’t. Again, underestimating children is not good. Kids are usually very well equipped to deal with things themselves – they just need you to let them. 
  • Don’t do age appropriate things with your child. Are you so careful that you don’t let your kid cycle a bike until he is much older or stop your kid rollerblading in case they fall. You are being too overprotective. You can’t protect your kids all the time and it is impossible to do so. Furthermore, kids will inevitably hurt themselves, but they will learn from experiences like these and become more knowledgeable. They must have room to grow, room to make mistakes and room to look for help when they need it. 
Written by Emma Hayes staff writer at Family Friendly HQ.

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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