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Overprotecting Parents – Good or Bad?

Is being an overprotecting or also known as the helicopter parent good or bad for our children?

When I look at my own parenting lately, I probably feel like an overprotecting when out in the street and that’s mainly due to the numerous reports of attempted child abductions that are becoming more frequently than you can imagine.  Now I yell at the girls for turning a corner if I can not see them.  I guess also when they go to swimming lessons I am a bit anxious, especially for Emma, as I do not want her to be scared of something and going backwards to when she nearly drowned and we were sponge bathing her as she would not even go near the water.  But the majority of the time, I encourage the girls to explore the world around them.  I guess I am also aware that my own anxieties (which I have a lot of) also can affect the girls so I need to be extra conscious of making sure I am not putting my own anxieties on to them.

At the school, you do see the overprotecting parents and some of it is a culture identity but they really keep the children under watchful eyes and not let them explore the world around them which of course is affecting the child and their confidence levels.

But where am I going with this as I promise you there is a point.  I received an email today from Kidsmatter and they had an article based on 11 year research about anxiety in children.  Ron Rapee, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health, is a leading researcher of childhood anxiety and he spoke to KidsMatter about his research.

In his research he has found the children whose parents went through the program showed less anxiety issues than those children whose parents did not go through the program.  Ron also found that when looking at adolescent boys were more likely to show less anxiety than girls at the same age.  He suggested this could be because boys were raised to be more independent throughout their childhood whilst girls are not as much.

Professor Rapee, also stated that “overprotective parenting, for one, can help to reinforce two clear messages to children: 1) the world is a dangerous place; and 2) you aren’t able to control the world and you need my help. Also, critical parenting can reinforce the message that ‘you aren’t good enough’ which, in turn, can undermine a child’s self-esteem.”

He feels that parents need to gently encourage the parents to face the things they are afraid of and to slowly encourage their independence and let children make mistakes so that our children have a positive self esteem and have the confidence to explore the world safely.

If you want to read more about the article click on the link below.

The Massive Changes That Parenthood Brings to the Family Unit

“A woman can get married and her life does change. And a man can get married and his life changes. But nothing changes life as dramatically as having a child………….In this country, it is a particular experience, a rite of passage, if you will, that is unsupported for the most part, and rather ignored.  Somebody will send you a couple of presents for the baby, but people do not acknowledge the massive experience to the parents involved” ~ Dana Raphael.

I still believe this above quote which was made around 1970 is still very true today.  Mums and dads are not prepared for the massive change that the transition to parenthood makes.  We are prepared very well for the birth but what about for everything else.

If mums and dads were prepared more for the changes that parenthood brings before or just after the baby is born would we see a reduction of postnatal depression, struggling parents and maybe even the divorce rate?

Whilst in the hospital we are well taken care for and with this support we feel slightly confident.  But what happens when you exit the hospital doors?  I remember with bringing Grace home, I was thinking all the way home what do I do now? I remember how scared I was of what happens when we step foot in the door.  We had to figure it all out as a family and it was like being in a field of rabbit holes and trying not to fall in them.  Everywhere I turned I felt like I was falling into a hole as I struggled with breastfeeding, Grace would not sleep, how long do I let her sleep for and what happens if she slept through a feed.  The good thing is that more and more people are talking about places to turn to so women are getting more help.  But I truly believe more needs to be done. I am not going to rest until this is all changed and families stop having so many challenges.

I do believe that better preparation is needed for all parents so that they can meet these challenges head on with confidence and as a team.  The overall philosophy of Coaching For Lifetime Change is to help as many parents as possible to help them enjoy build the family unit that they have always dreamed of.

Motivational Monday

Every Monday I am going to put up a motivational picture that will resonate with mums and dads and how to develop their bond as a family, give you confidence as a parent and how to build a fantastic strong and loving family.