Based on their child’s age, each parent needs to decide how they will monitor internet and social media usage.
However, a parent has crossed into overprotective mode if they become uncomfortable about giving respectful privacy to their mature teenager – whether it’s about letting their bedroom be their safe space or having unmonitored conversations with friends.
3. Won’t let their child do things on their own
There is a fine line between helping and hindering when it comes to the parent-child relationship.
Parents may think that making the child’s bed, cleaning up after them, figuring out their homework, or even building a toy is helping.
The truth is, allowing children to figure things out will help both their self-esteem and their problem-solving abilities.
4. Invasive questioning
It’s human nature for parents to want to know if their child is alright, but you know your kid will learn how to deal with overprotective parents if your questions become intrusive.
If you can’t keep your questions to a minimum, especially if your child is an adult, you may be leaning into the overprotective territory.
5. Empathetic to a fault
It hurts parents to see their child in pain, whether it’s not getting a toy they want or getting their heart broken for the first time.
It’s good to be empathetic and try to make your child feel better. Still, it crosses over into overprotective territory when parents are so consoling that they don’t allow their children to work through their emotions and learn to self-soothe.
6. Don’t dish out responsibilities
“Just let them be kids!” parents say as they make their child’s bed, do their homework, and get them out of gym class.
Children thrive when they are given age-appropriate responsibilities. Overprotective parents prevent mature growth from their little ones when they take on their chores.
Watch this video to learn more about the power of responsibility.
7. Solve problems instead of teaching lessons
Parents never want their children to be confused, hurt, or upset, so they may naturally delve into problem-solving mode.
The issue here is that sometimes children need to learn a lesson. Instead of solving a problem, parents should teach their children that there are consequences for their actions.
8. Constantly remind children of life’s dangers
What does overprotective mean? Teaching children that life is dangerous.
There are, of course, things to be concerned about:
Misuse of alcohol and drugs.
Not walking alone at night.
Not talking to strangers on the internet or giving out personal information.
This becomes an issue only when parents consistently remind their children that the world is to be feared. Not only is this scary for a child, but it may lead to childhood anxiety and an inability to trust others.
9. Needs to know every last detail
It’s good for parents to be involved in their child’s life. They should always try to keep the communication lines open, especially as their children enter those tough teenage years.
But genuine connection slips into overprotective when a parent needs to know every last detail of their child’s social interactions, down to what food they ate for lunch.
10. Makes all of their decisions
Another sign children will be learning how to deal with overprotective parents is if parents are making all the decisions for their kids.
This prevents children from developing decision-making skills and may cause them to feel helpless and controlled.
10 ways to deal with overprotective parents
Here are some ways that can be useful to deal with your overprotective parents.
1. Communicate your desires
The best relationships, romantic or otherwise, are the ones where there is communication.
You need to tell them if you desire more freedom or want your parents to give you a little more breathing room.
Pick the right time to talk. You don’t want to do it when your parents are exhausted or in a bad mood.
Choose a moment when you will have enough time to have a heart-to-heart.
Tell your overprotective parents how you feel. Be honest without attacking them. This can be done effectively by using “I feel” statements.
If you begin the conversation aggressively, the atmosphere will quickly turn hostile – and the last thing you want is an argument.
3. Have your friends over to your house
If you still live at home, one way you can deal with overprotective parents not letting you go anywhere is by asking for your friends to come to the house instead.
This benefits you in two ways:
You get to socialize.
Your parents get to know your friends. This builds up trust and may allow them to let go a bit when they know who you are spending time with.
4. Start with small compromises
Instead of fighting with your overprotective parents, try compromising.
Talk it out and see if you can meet in the middle. Even something as simple as extending your curfew by 15 minutes is a great compromise. It may not be as much as you want, but it slowly builds trust and gives your parents some experience doing uncomfortable things.
Compromising small things now can lead to bigger, more satisfying compromises in the future.
5. Prove that you can be trusted
The biggest tip for how to deal with overprotective parents is to show them that you are trustworthy.
The good news is this tip is pretty easy:
Do what you say you will do.
Come home before curfew.
When your parents see that you are true to your word, they feel comfortable giving you more responsibility and freedom.
This is particularly helpful advice for those still living at home.
6. Keep in contact
One tip for how to deal with overprotective parents is to let them know how you are.
Whether you live at home or not, parents worry.
One way you can quell their need to hover is by giving them simple but loving updates.
“Hey, I’m out with (friend) right now. I’ll call you later!”
“Just letting you know I’ll be home by (time). See you then!”
This may seem exhausting, but it will put your parent’s mind at ease, and they won’t feel like they have to chase you around all day.
7. Stay positive
Learning how to deal with overprotective parents takes time and a good attitude.
It’s easy to be discouraged if your attempts for how to overcome overprotective parents feel like they’re going nowhere, but don’t despair.
Not only will this help you keep your sanity when you’re feeling overwhelmed, but it will set a good example to your parents (and siblings, if you have any) on how to deal kindly with others in a rough situation.
8. Try and understand where they’re coming from
At times, your overprotective parents may seem completely unreasonable, and you have every right to feel frustrated.
Trying to put yourself in their shoes can help you understand where they are coming from – even if you don’t agree with how they are handling their fears.
Did your parents have something traumatic happen when they were little, and now they are trying to prevent the same from happening to you?
Having overprotective parents can be frustrating and infantilizing, but try and remember that their behavior comes from a place of love.
9. Be patient
Learning how to handle overprotective parents doesn’t happen overnight. You may have to try dozens of different things and might feel like you’re repeating yourself constantly, but don’t give up.
Be patient with your parents as you all try and figure out how to set up and respect the boundaries between you.
10. Go to family therapy or couple’s counseling
One tip for how to deal with overprotective parents is to encourage family or couples counseling.
Family therapy can help parents and children with better communication strategies and allows them to work through different feelings and situations in a safe space.
Couples therapy can also help parents understand where their fears are coming from.
Let’s discuss the most asked question related to ways to deal with overprotective parents.
Is being overprotective good in a relationship?
The short answer is no.
Being a protective parent is a good thing. It means you are watching out for your child and putting their safety and welfare first in your life.
However, being overprotective parents can alienate children, stunt their emotional growth, and make it difficult for parents to celebrate amazing milestones their children reach – such as going to college or moving out.
Learning how to deal with overprotective parents is challenging. It will take a lot of strength to set personal boundaries.
Dealing with overprotective parents also takes patience as you give them the grace to start letting go.
Show your trustworthiness, stay in touch with your family, and communicate your desires for more freedom.
Parents will benefit from honest self-examination and attending individual or couples therapy to understand why they hold on so tightly to their children.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships Read more and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.
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