The overprotective parent problem is becoming more prevalent than it used to be. Parents 50 years ago didn’t care much what their kids were up to as long as they were still alive at the end of the day. Granted, it’s much better to be over-the-top than negligent, but that doesn’t make helicopter parenting any less of a problem.
If you feel like you’re constantly worrying about your children or are afraid you’re heading down that road, we’ve got some practical ways to avoid being an overprotective parent that you won’t want to miss. These should help you find a better balance between the two extremes.
Don’t Try To Fix All Your Child’s Mistakes
The most significant part of not being too protective is to let your child make a few mistakes now and again. Sure, if you see them doing something wrong or dangerous, you should definitely follow your instincts to correct them. However, the older they get, the more you need to let them mess up and learn from their own mistakes afterward. If you don’t, the real world will hit them like a brick because no one out there will solve their problems for them anymore.
Give Them Some Privacy and Freedom
Another way to overcome your overprotective tendencies is to give your kids their space. While it’s only natural to want to be a part of your child’s life, at some point, you need to break away a bit and let them do their own thing. As long as you don’t think their life is in danger, you don’t need to know every aspect of it, especially as they hit their teenage years. Step back and let them be who they are going to be.
Monitor Them From a Distance
Obviously, you shouldn’t stay out of your kids’ lives completely, though. Fortunately, you can keep tabs on them from a distance. Almost all electronic devices have parental controls these days. While your child may find them annoying, they’ll likely find it less intrusive than you constantly asking or looking to see the places they’ve been online.
You can also enable GPS tracking on their smart devices. Once again, they won’t like this, but the alternative is you constantly pestering them to know where they are. If they don’t have any handheld electronics yet, consider buying them one under the condition that you can use GPS to see where they are. Our kids 4G smartwatch is a perfect choice for a scenario like this. That way, you don’t have to buy them a full-fledged smartphone.
Pick Your Battles
In the end, the most practical way to avoid being an overprotective parent is to choose your battles. If your child refuses to allow you to track their location, back off and find a new way to approach the situation. There’s always a compromise. Getting mad and fighting about it solves nothing and often drives them to do the very thing you’re trying to protect them from. As long as you’re smart and play the long game, you should be able to find a way to be involved without going to any unreasonable extremes.