Overprotective parenting seems to be on the rise, with parents getting increasingly involved in, and ambitious about their childrens activities. Overprotective parenting is often the result of parents forgetting their children are individuals in their own right. Very often, overprotective parenting is a result of parents viewing their kids as an extension of themselves. Everything they wished to achieve, academically or on the sports field, is thrust on their children. The poor kids are expected to shine as superstars instead of just enjoying what they do.
These parents fail to differentiate their children’s desires and feelings from their own. They imagine their perfectly nice kids to be suffering from performance anxiety purely a reflection of their anxiety about the kids performance. Tennis or baseball can never be just a game to be enjoyed with friends. The child has to reach the US Open or Junior League. Parents fail to recognize the childs irritation at their interference, putting it down to sensitivity and anxiety.
Overprotective parenting often results in parents refusing to recognize and accept that their child has done anything wrong. As a result of overprotective parenting, children are condoned for destructive behavior and never have to face the rap for their actions. The parents thus validate unhealthy behavior instead of setting appropriate role models. Anxious parents shield their children from the consequences of their behavior. Thus, the child is always let off the hook, instead of being corrected.
Most children are embarrassed by their parents behavior as they grow older. They also resent the constant interference and anxiety about their performance. They wish the parents would back off and let them figure things out for themselves. Overprotective parents want to take the bumps out of their childrens lives, forgetting it is all a part of growing up. Life is not a spectator sport, and everyone has to go through good and bad experiences. Children learn to cope with failure when they go through a tough patch and they mature as a result of it.
Overprotective parents just focus on their childs achievements, and not the childs development. Kids are embarrassed when parents interfere in school about grades or inclusion in an activity. Parents, however, are obsessed with success, and are often misguided in their goals. In their anxiety, they take away all the discomforts, disappointments and even the fun out of growing up. Unfortunately, this kind of control can make the child go haywire when he or she is away at University, and could even end in alcoholism and drug abuse. Let children bloom at their own pace, and enjoy growing up, instead of overprotecting them.
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