My son says I worry too much about him, but I do it out of love. I remember when I was young my grandmother and my mother reiterating this phrase ad eternum. “Don’t climb that tree”. “Don’t go to the cinema”. “You cannot go to the playground”. I remember vividly having conversations with my mother and arguing that I was losing much on life because of her rules. Her usual reply was, “I did not find you outside. I love you and I do this for your protection”. Obviously, I always objected only to be silenced by the equally common comeback “you will understand when you have your own children”.
Being protective of your child is good; actually necessary. Children and young adults are still developing and in this process they may lack the comprehension of risks and consequences. However, in my experience working with parents I find that some parents tend to over-protect. Over protection is a behaviour whereby one secures another in a manner that overly restricts the latter from living normally. In some countries, including our own, some scenarios of over protection are considered as a negative parenting style and occasionally even abuse (imagine locking your daughter in her room so she does not meet boys). In the second part of this blog I shall provide some ideas on how to negotiate a happy between and to keep yourself in check against being too protective.
– Steve Libreri is a social worker and parent coach within Willingness. He offers parent coaching and social work sessions. He can be contacted on email@example.com.