5 Signs You're Overparenting
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5 Signs You're Overparenting

Vallari Sharma
3 min read

5 Signs You're Overparenting

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Could you be overparenting in lieu of being a perfect parent? Are you being ‘too good’ in order to be a good parent? Look out for these warning signs of overparenting.

We all want to be great parents and provide our children with the best of the best. Very often, in our quest to provide our kids with ‘our idea of a perfect life’, we end up overparenting. Overparenting refers to being excessively involved in the day-to-day life of one's child or children, typically in the desire to shield them from difficult situations or help them succeed. Are you too guilty of overparenting? Find out by checking these signs of overparenting.
  1. You are all praises- all the time
Young kids seek approval from their parents and praising them is necessary to keep them encouraged.  However, going overboard with praises every time your kid does a task right, especially when it's repeatedly for the same thing they've already mastered, could do your children more harm than good. Julie Lythcott in her book ‘How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success’ says, “Words like ‘perfect,’ ‘brilliant,’ ‘amazing,’ ‘wonderful’, and ‘great’ sound like compliments when they trip off our tongues, but over time they are daggers in the soul of a developing kid and end up undercutting resilience.”

Here, we’re no way saying that you should stop appreciating your children, but showering them with excessive praise all the time can leave them delusioned.

  1. You help them without being asked
It’s the parents’ duty to help their children when they need it. But, helping them for the tiniest tasks and especially when you’re not being asked, could kill your child’s self-esteem and make them dependent and inefficient. You might think that solving each and every problem your child faces would make life easier for them. Well, it would, but only for a very short while. The truth is- life isn’t a bed of roses and you’re not going to always be around. The message you could be giving our children by denying them every single problem-solving opportunity is, “You can’t actually do any of this without me.”

Let your kids find their own solutions. They might have to struggle a bit initially, but later in their lives, they’ll thank you.

  1. You give too many gifts
Overparenting is often focussed solely on ‘happiness’. Here making the kid happy is a parent’s only goal. And gifts often prove to be a foolproof option to make the child ‘happy’. When you spoil kids with gifts every now and then, especially for no apparent reason, they often end up not valuing those things.

And even if you’re gifting spree is motivated to promote some positive behaviour, over-rewarding your child for each and every positive behaviour, could kill their inner motivation.

  1. You’ve extremely low expectations
Setting the bar ‘too low’ to qualify as a ‘good boy’ or a ‘good girl’ is another sign of overparenting. The belief of letting kids be kids often stops parents from expecting help from their kids. Expecting age-appropriate behaviours from your kids isn’t too much to ask for and would not ruin your kids' childhood.

A few days back, I remember, a toddler’s mother fighting with her husband as he asked his son to ‘keep his plate in the basin’. The mother accused the father of ‘exploiting’ the kid. Don’t be that mother! Jeez!

  1. You’re obsessed with them
It’s natural for parents to love their children with all their heart, but making kids your sole focus isn’t good-not for you or your child. Stop obsessing over every little detail of your child’s life.

Julie Lythcott writes, “If you’re overfocused on your kid, you’re quite likely underfocusing on your own passion. Despite what you may think, your kid is not your passion. If you treat them as if they are, you’re placing them in the very untenable and unhealthy role of trying to bring fulfilment to your life. Support your kid’s interests, yes. Be proud—very proud—of them. But find your own passion and purpose. For your kid’s sake and your own, you must.”

It’s important to remember that your tiny tots won’t always be tiny tots. One day, they’ll grow up into adults and will have to live on their own. Prepare them for that. And, most importantly, relax. We know parenting isn’t a cakewalk, but it’s no rocket science either. Relax, chill, and cherish the beautiful feeling of being a parent, everything would be hunky-dory!

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