Our children are precious, and we love them to bits. All we want is to see them happy and thriving in life, right?
Yet we often spend a lot of our day fearful. Fearful of what might happen to them and fearful for them.
It’s that fear that drives us to be overprotective.
Children are born fearless. Do you realize that? It is only when they watch us and are around us, all day every day, as most of them are; that they learn to fear. They feel our fear and mirror it.
You might tell me that your child is timid and shy. How did they become that way? How timid and shy were you around them as they were growing up? Were you fearful of being a good parent, of doing the wrong thing, of hurting them? That may have caused their timidity.
It’s not fun, as your child’s parent, to live your life having to watch them every second of the day because you don’t want them to get hurt. It’s important to be a little less overprotective, for not only their sake but for yours as well.
Here Are 2 Simple Tools for Overprotective Parents:
Notice Your Fear
As soon as you start being overprotective, slow down for a second and notice what you are thinking. Are you full of fear that they are going to hurt themselves, be physically hurt, or perhaps emotionally hurt by others?
If you notice this is what you are thinking, consider what it would be like if you knew what would happen? When you are fearful, you are living in the future and imagining the worst thing that could happen. So, you try your hardest to not have that ‘thing’ happen.
Yet, you can’t know what life will dish up on any given day now, can you?
When you wake up in the morning, can you honestly know exactly how your day is going to turn out? No, you can’t. You might set your day up to not turn out okay because of all of the strong thoughts you have. Still, you can never really know.
You, therefore, can’t know how your child’s day will be like either. What is the worst thing that could happen? They get hurt; and either physically or emotionally they learn from it and have your support to help them understand how to act or react differently next time. That’s where you come in; let them try things. Then support them if things don’t turn out the way your child planned.
I’m guessing that you spend a lot of your time focused on your child. Do you spend much time thinking about or focusing on YOU? Your child will grow up and become an adult. At that time, they will want to be independent and do things for themselves, their way.
Then what? If you’ve spent your entire life focusing on them, you will feel one huge empty hole in your life. Maybe it’s time now to begin focusing on you; the things you like doing, the people you used to enjoy spending time with, time alone without your child.
Yes, it is possible to have an adult life. You don’t need to spend all of your time as the ‘parent.’
That certainly isn’t healthy for either you or your child. So, what would it take to arrange time-outs for yourself? That might be a massage once a month, or time at a café and taking a good book with you to read.
Take the time as your child is growing up, to nurture you too. That way your child won’t feel constant pressure from you whilst you are in your overprotective mode.
You may not like me saying this, but do you realize that they may feel pressure from you, being so focused on them all the time? They might think they don’t have the freedom to just be themselves. Is that really what you want your child to be thinking?
I know you’re only wanting to keep them safe. It’s okay, they will be safe without you focusing on them 100% of the time.
Your child will grow up feeling loved, competent, capable, and safe if you give them space to be themselves. That may mean trying and failing; and that’s perfectly okay. That is part of the journey of life in this world as a human.