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How To Stop Being Over Protective Parents

There are so many concerns we have as a parent, after all, there are so many dangers out there that we have to keep an eye out for. Whether it is about making outdoor play safe for our kids when we are having a barbecue or a social function, or if we are taking them on the walk to school as a toddler, we can very easily get into this overprotective frame of mind. Of course, being a protective parent of your children is hardwired into most of us, but we can overdo it.



Being an overprotective parent can result in us stifling our children. It can also cause a few emotional issues in our kids as they grow up. Here are the ways to stop being overprotective parents:

Gauging Each Situation As It Comes

In essence, being an overprotective parent is about planning ahead when it comes to every eventuality. But, ask yourself, are you doing this to make life better for your children, or to make it easier on yourself? Of course, we can all feel the stresses of modern life, and if we’ve got a child wanting to nosedive off the couch, it is far easier for us to say “no”, even if it’s a safe environment to play and explore.

Of course, jumping off the couch is an extreme example. But if we become too protective in those extreme circumstances, it can spill over into our other attitudes to safety. While it can be mentally exhausting, it is far better for you to gage situation as it comes. We should get into the habit of taking it one step at a time, rather than exhausting ourselves by planning ahead.

Taking Professional Advice With A Pinch Of Salt

Let’s face it, there are so many different items of information out there, it can be difficult to find the right one. For every item of information telling us that we need to protect our kids, there are others telling us that we should leave them to their own devices. You are the parent, and so, it’s worth filtering the appropriate advice as you see fit. There are practical guides out there, such as House Method’s childproofing guide which can benefit your home environment. This is why you need to get a good idea of what you want when it comes to your children’s safety. Professional advice is great and when you need it, it is there. But you still need to trust your own instincts.


Give Your Children Space To Develop On Their Own

In order to avoid our children falling into pitfalls we may have encountered, or in order to help protect them from everything, it’s very easy to try and force our own personalities on them. We might even try to live vicariously through them, in order to heal past mistakes we have made. But ultimately, our children are their own people, and they do need space to develop on their own.


The trick is allowing them to do that in a safe environment. This is why the process of applying to boarding school is so appealing to so many parents, because allowing a child to live away from home in a supportive environment and community of their peers can help them develop without having to experience the true bite of harmful consequences that comes from the outside world. That doesn’t mean they’ll be wrapped in cotton wool, however, as institutions like this know how to properly push children in order to give them the best start in life.


Let Your Children Make Mistakes

If we were to be as overprotective as a society would dictate, our children wouldn’t be able to do a single thing. We need to understand early on that children need to make mistakes, much like we prefer to do things ourselves, our children should embody similar characteristics. But we get so scared of our children making mistakes, just in case something bad happens to them. This is why it’s important for you to gauge each situation as it comes. If necessary, let your children make the mistake. We all learn better when we do something wrong, as opposed to doing something right.

Letting our children make certain mistakes, even if it ends up with them in tears, may sound particularly cruel. If you are keen to have a child that is self-sufficient and can go through life headstrong, we have to make peace with this as soon as possible. While there are people who may consider this approach to parenting blasé, or even harsh, it is in every parents’ interest to raise a child that is independent. Yes, the world is cruel and difficult, and it always has been. While you are nurturing them, create a balanced environment where they can learn from their mistakes. Kids develop under your watchful eye is essential to a well-rounded child.


That overprotective feeling kicks in so much, which is a very good thing. But as much as it can benefit our children to learn from their mistakes. We also need to learn how to sever the tie somewhat. It can be a very difficult thing for us to make peace because we can feel guilty. The goal is to raise a child who is able to tackle problems properly. If we are to do this, we think that we’re doing a good job by being an overprotective parent and we need to maintain a fine balance.


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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the owner of TWL Working Moms. She is a full time teacher, a mom & step mom, and NBCT Facilitator. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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  1. I like “taking professional advice with a pinch of salt” but really all advice. Some aren’t professional but can really make you feel like your failing and in that thought you get overly anxious about whatever it is.

  2. My husband and I are opposites when it comes to helicopter parenting. I’m a huge believer in letting my kids figure out things and learn from their mistakes. I believe in preparing them for a future and that means giving them room to make bad choices (as long as they aren’t safety concerns) and learn how to fix their mistakes. My husband is the helicopter. Poor guy. He stresses his little heart out all the time over the tiniest of things.

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