Overprotective parenting is detrimental to mental wellbeing (Opinion)

Parenting that is overprotective often results in isolation and distance in parent-child relationships

Anonymous, Writer

An overprotective parent is a parent who wants to protect their children excessively from harm, hurt and pain, unhappiness, bad experiences and rejection, hurt feelings, failure, and disappointments. This can be extremely hard on kids. Kids may feel like they have no control over their life and everything they do is judged. For example, not being able to have different opinions from their parents without causing arguments or saying that they are “brainwashed”, not being able to go out or to other people’s houses overnight, not being able to drive until certain “responsibilities” are proved (responsibilities that aren’t even clearly communicated), going through phones without permission, and other instances.

If a kid came home in a bad mood, an overprotective parent would push and push until they get out of the child what is wrong, to the point where it makes the child uncomfortable and worsens the situation. Unfortunately, this can lead to teenagers and children feeling uncomfortable in their home; their home is no longer their safe space. This also makes it hard to talk to your parents without feeling judged.

There is a difference between involved parents and overprotective parents. Involved parenting is having concern for your child but not being overly pushy. In the same example, when a kid comes home from school in a bad mood, an involved parent would ask if they were okay, and if the child isn’t comfortable sharing what happened or why they are upset, then the parent would respect that.

Of course, many are still personally very grateful for their parents and love them and appreciate them, but the way the environment makes some feel is very isolating. The support system is sometimes so intense that it can lead to a feeling of no true support system at all because of the fear that parents would overreact.