Consequences of Overprotecting Your Child

Consequences of Overprotecting Your Child

There is irony in the fact that your desire to protect your child might hurt your child's future mental well-being.

Support for children is essential for children to grow, but too much support can cause stunted growth.

Beware of the consequences of overprotecting your child.

One of the significant consequences of overprotecting your child is dependency.

This means that your child needs other people to make vital decisions.

It can be natural to make decisions for your children, but sometimes it is best to let a child make their own decisions.

Children with overprotective parents are likely to suffer from anxiety.

This can impact their social skills and even their ability to make friends.

Consider how receptive you are to your child doing new things.

Low self-esteem is one of the consequences of overprotecting your child.

You might unintentionally deprive your child of opportunities to grow in confidence.

Rather than protecting your child from some hardships, a better approach would be to support and encourage your child.

You can find the consequences of overprotecting your child below:

Children Therapists in Colorado

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Lauren Wilkerson, SWC

Lauren Wilkerson, SWC

(719) 345-2424
Cassondra Chagnon, LPCC

Cassondra Chagnon, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Melissa Peterson, LPC

Melissa Peterson, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374

They May Develop Dependency Issues 

Part of the prominent consequences of overprotecting your child is that your child might develop dependency issues.

This dependency reflects when your child relies on you or others to act on their behalf.

Consider how much freedom you give your child.

As children grow older, they tend to make decisions and assert a sense of independence in various ways.

This might be as small as selecting the extracurricular activities they wish to take or wanting to clean their rooms.

When you consistently take action and make decisions for your child, your child might become used to others acting on their behalf and making their decisions.

This harms your child because you might be unable to act independently or make decisions in your absence.

In other circumstances, your child might rely on others, such as teachers and students, to perform their tasks and copy other people's decisions.

In the long term, your child might suffer as an adult incapable of living independently.

There is a stage in your child's life where your child might need your input on everything.

However, your child will grow steadily and become capable of independent acts.

It is very important as a parent to recognize your child's growth and encourage independence rather than infantizing your child.

They May Develop Anxiety Disorder 

It is common for children to rely on their parents to protect them.

Most parents also have powerful instincts to protect their children from harm.

However, in some circumstances, parents unintentionally harm their children in the hopes of protecting their children.

One of the probable consequences of overprotecting your child is exposed to anxiety risks.

Overprotective parents may induce fear of the world in their children.

For instance, an overprotective parent might discourage their child from trying out new sports.

The anxiety can manifest when trying new things over fears of negative outcomes.

Children from overprotective parents might also worry about being rejected.

This might result in lacking the necessary social skills to make friends.

Children with overprotective parents might become adults with anxiety about interacting with people and trying out new things.

Consider how you react to your child doing new things.

Try to encourage your child to be comfortable attempting new things.

They May Develop Low Self-Esteem

Overprotective parents might seem more likely to have confident children because they usually focus on their children.

The attention might prevent their children from developing themselves.

Every time an overprotective parent interferes in their child's life, they are depriving their child of the opportunity for self-accomplishments.

Typically, children usually struggle at some point in their development.

They also progress and eventually pass their struggles; passing their challenge would give them belief in themselves.

Children with overprotective parents might not have the opportunity to build their confidence.

Although well intended, overprotective parents typically dismiss their children's feelings.

When they ignore their child's input in the interest of making the best decisions, they make their child question their input.

This might cause a child's self-esteem to deteriorate.

One of the long-term consequences of overprotecting your child is that it might lead your child to shy away from goals, opportunities, and challenges.

It would help your child gain confidence and grow in self-esteem to solve their problems.

You can chip in with minimal assistance, encouragement, and praise when your child passes the challenge.

They Will Develop A Ridiculously Low-Risk Appetite 

Overprotective parents' objective is to remove setbacks from their child's life.

This indirectly deprives your child of valuable lessons gained from making decisions, making mistakes, failing, and learning.

One of the valuable lessons your child might miss out on is risk-taking.

Children with overprotective parents tend to be on two extreme sides, either averse to risk-taking or overindulgent in risk-taking.

You are depriving your child of the value of experience from risk-taking at a young age.

One of the consequences of overprotecting your child might be your child struggles with risk-taking.

Your risk-averse child might avoid things with unknown potential.

Some children will develop to another extreme of rebellion from being risk averse to taking excessive risks.

This means away from their parents; they might push risk boundaries to dangerous levels.

Risk-taking skills are associated with entrepreneurs.

Lacking risk-tasking puts your child at a disadvantage against other children more familiar with risk-taking.

The long-term effect could range from a lifetime of missed opportunities to taking dangerous risks.

They May be More Likely to Get Bullied 

Although being bullied is never the victim's fault, it is the bully's fault.

However, one of the consequences of overprotecting your child is that it puts your child at a higher chance of being bullied.

Bullies usually carefully select their victims.

Children with overprotective parents might struggle with social relations and confidence and appear to be targeted by their bullies.

These children are also unlikely to challenge or oppose their bullies.

Away from the protection of their parents, overprotected children might be unable to navigate their lives.

their parents might rightly interfere against a school bully, but there will likely be other moments when overprotected children are overwhelmed by others.

The major problem here is that certain people will still pick on your child when your child becomes an adult.

Unfortunately, there might be no one to interfere on behalf of your child.

This is why it is vital for parents to encourage and support their children.

Why it's Important to Address the Overprotective Parents Effects 

Overprotective parenting can have profound effects on a child's psychological and social development. 

This style of parenting, often characterized by helicopter parents who constantly hover over their children, can lead to a range of negative outcomes.

Children raised in overprotective households may become overly dependent, struggle with decision making, and find it difficult to manage life outside their comfort zone. 

Moreover, research has shown that such parenting can lead to anxiety disorders, including social anxiety and panic disorder, as children feel constantly bombarded by their parents' fears and anxieties.

  • Overprotective parenting limits children's exposure to risk-taking experiences, which are essential for their growth and development.
  • Children from overly protective families often develop negative emotions and may become overly sensitive to the harsh realities of the outside world.
  • Such children may also fear abandonment, leading to social phobia and other affective disorders in their young adult life.
  • Overprotection can hinder a child's ability to solve problems independently, making them feel powerless in the face of challenges.
  • An Overprotective parenting style may produce an adult child who has a tough time adjusting to adult responsibilities.

Addressing the effects of overprotective parenting is crucial to ensure that children are equipped with the skills and resilience to navigate the world and live independently. 

Encourage parents to balance their protective instincts with their child's need for independence and self-reliance. Parental anxiety with a child interaction can create issues, and in some cases cause more harm than it helps. 


In spite of your best intentions, your actions can cause negative consequences to the mental well-being of your child

Try to give your child support but also give your child space. 

It is essential to note the consequences of overprotecting your child: dependency issues, anxiety issues, low self-esteem and confidence, risk-taking problems, and a higher chance of being bullied.


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July 24th, 2024

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