Why Sheltering Children Prevents Them From Coping in the Real World
More and more studies have confirmed that children of overprotective parents are risk-averse, have difficulty making decisions, and lack the wherewithal to become successful in life.
Furthermore, children of overprotective (OP) parents cannot deal adequately with hardships and other frustrations of life. In other words, they have a very low tolerance for frustration and crumble at the first sign of difficulty. Kids need to face challenges to prepare for the real world!
What Is Overprotective Parenting?
- Constant Supervision and Micromanagement
- Prevention of Taking Responsibility
- Excessive Catering and Over-Consoling
- Controlling of the Social Sphere
- Excessive Caution
- Creating Dependency
Protecting Versus Overprotecting Your Child
I remember when I was in eighth grade, there was a boy whose mother took him to school every day. There was nothing wrong with the boy and he was an honor student. The other pupils in the class found it totally absurd and ludicrous that a mother would take her 13-year-old child to school.
He was constantly derided by the other children, and called a mama's boy or worse. If his mother did not take him to school, his father did! Even the teachers disrespected him, calling him an infant. When the weather was bad, he stayed home from school.
This boy never participated in school events as many of them were unsupervised. His parents insisted upon being present at his every move. Of course, he never had any friends while in the eighth grade. The other children thought that he was too peculiar and babyish. Some of the other boys consistently bullied him to no end. Everywhere he went was with his parents. This is clearly abnormal for an early adolescent who should be forming some type of friendship and independence.
What Does Helicopter Parenting Mean?
Helicopter parents, cosseting parents, cosseters, bulldozer parents, or lawnmower parents are terms used to describe intrusive parents who are overly involved in their child's progress in life, especially in education. According to expert Alicia Bradley, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and adjunct professor:
"This term is used a lot with adolescents or even adult children [and refers to] trying to always be involved in every aspect of that child's life, not just in a supportive way, but in a controlling way. Many times this can be difficult for the child and end up causing stress or tension in the relationship."
If helicopter parenting is detrimental to children, when and why did it evolve? Former dean of freshmen at Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims, details the events spanning from the 1980s which contributed to the evolution and coining of the term "helicopter parents." This decade was characterized by an increase in child abductions throughout the U.S. and included the abduction of Adam Walsh which gained national attention and pushed Congress to create the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 1984 later saw an increase in the popularity of the "playdate," during which kids were no longer left unsupervised by parents. By 1990, child development researchers Foster Cline and Jim Fay formerly coined the term "helicopter parent."
Actions, Intentions, and Traits of Overprotective Parents
Oftentimes, overprotective parents believe that they are doing the best thing for their children. Parents often shelter their kids from the "harsher," "more difficult," and "less desirable" aspects of childhood. According to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in which 190 children were examined for anxiety and co-concurring child behavior symptoms, "Maternal overprotective parenting was significantly higher in the group of children with behavior disorders . . . ." The study suggests that OP parenting styles negatively impact behavior in the long run, despite the parents' intention for their children to have the best life that can be offered.
Constant Supervision and Micromanagement
These children are often not free to indulge in unsupervised activities like other children. Their parents are of the school that the best activities are supervised ones. Parents who constantly micromanage deprive their children of free will and prevent them from becoming proactive adults.
Prevention of Taking Responsibility
OP children are not assigned household chores and other responsibilities because their parents contend that these are anathema to a carefree childhood. Children who are not given responsibilities, not asked to pitch in, and not self-reliant, fail to thrive in standards situations.
Excessive Catering and Over-Consoling
Children who are excessively catered to expect everything at the drop of a hat. Patience and resiliency are not something that is learned from over-indulgence. A study published by the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford Univerity found that coping with early life stress expanded regions of the brain that help control resiliency. For instance, a child who is consoled for receiving a bad mark on a paper does not benefit. Instead, the lesson should be character building and further prepare the child for the future. Rejection is a part of life and offers a good opportunity to teach a child the power of bouncing back.
The Differences in Reported Stress Levels Across Generations
The American Psychological Association commissions an annual study termed Stress in America. 2015 data revealed that younger generations are experiencing more stress than older generations: "On average, Millennials and Gen Xers report higher levels of stress than Boomers and Matures... and have done so since 2012."
Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., explains how secure and relaxed parenting styles help to keep cortisol levels low in children, reduce stress, and encourage the development of self-soothing techniques. Dr. Dewar adds that this style of sensitive, responsive parenting is thought to enhance problem-solving abilities, attention skills, and school readiness.
Controlling of Social Sphere
Parents who control their child's social sphere hinder them from branching out on their own and developing essential social skills that will later serve them in the adult world. By worrying about the influences of other children, parenting styles, and lifestyles, sheltered children miss out on learning how to embrace and adapt to differences in opinions, preferences, and life choices. Underexposing a child makes them maladapted to the real world.
When a parent incessantly worries, tracks, or snoops on a child (via cellular devices, social media, or by reading private content such as written diaries), the child loses their sense of individuality and sense of self. The parent tries to pacify their fears by digging into their child's private life rather than developing a healthy relationship founded on trust and open communication. Parents who worry about catastrophic events and bar their child from living life raise an adult who will be risk-averse later in life.
Overprotective parents are invasive in other ways. They solve problems for their children that the latter are often capable of solving themselves. They infantilize their children by making them feel incapable of charting their own course. In fact, these parents are making their children extremely dependent and infantilized past an appropriate age.
The overprotected child will likely not learn the skills needed to form their own identity and learn how to solve problems independently. They will not know how to use critical thinking skills to handle different life situations. Their frustration tolerance can be low and anxiety can be high.
— Alicia Bradley, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
How Overprotecting a Child Affects Them at School
Traits of an OP Child in School:
- Dependent on Teachers
- Labeled a Difficult Student
- Lacking in Maturity
- Sense of Entitlement
- Easy Target for Bullies
- Labeled Misfits
- Academically Ahead, Socially Behind
- Lacking in Knowledge of Age-Appropriate Life Situations
Dependent on Teachers
Teachers are not especially pleased with OP children. Teachers often have to assume quasi-parental roles with these kids, doing things such as tying their shoes and performing other tasks that they should be performing themselves. Many teachers voice utter dismay at the backwardness of overprotected children. These are the children who have poor or nonexistent social, emotional, and survival skills.
Labeled a Difficult Student
Furthermore, such children are often the most difficult pupils around. These children often expect teachers to mollycoddle them as their parents have done. They get quite a surprise when teachers treat them like their other students. Oftentimes, these children cannot adjust well to the school environment where some sort of independence is required.
Lacking in Maturity
Children of overprotective parents are often years behind in maturity in comparison to their more free-range peers. Teachers further remark that these kids are highly dependent and insist on being assisted as much as possible. Teachers do not have the time to individually assist each child as there are often many kids in the classroom setting. In other words, overprotected kids are quite problematic for teachers.
Sense of Entitlement
Because of their upbringing, sheltered kids have a sense of entitlement and feel they should have their way. They were not told by their parents that they are not the center of the universe and they must learn to cooperate with others. Because they have a high sense of specialness, they often become quite unhinged when situations are not in their favor.
Easy Target for Bullies
Many such children are often prey for school bullies because they did not develop the social and street-savvy needed to survive the school environment. Bullies usually target children who are quite defenseless and extremely vulnerable. In other words, bullies do not attack children who possess self-confidence, social and street-savvy, because they know it would be a losing battle. In a study of 197 kindergarteners published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, researchers concluded that:
"Relations between shyness and certain indices of maladjustment were stronger among children with mothers characterized by higher neuroticism, BIS sensitivity, and an overprotective parenting style . . . . "
What Is BIS Sensitivity?
BIS sensitivity or behavioral inhibition sensitivity helps to regulate aversive motives, during which a subject moves away from an undesirable stimulus. OP children of BIS-sensitive parents find it difficult to try new and different situations and they are often risk-aversive themselves. They tend not to be adventurous and are quite timorous regarding life situations.
OP children are often not respected by their peers because of their infantile mannerisms. Their peers consider them utter misfits. Such children do not have the bounce and competitiveness that children from free-range environments often possess. They are often needy and dependent at an age when gradual independence should occur.
Academically Ahead, Socially Behind
Oftentimes, OP children are years behind in development in comparison to their peers. Of course, when parents excessively infantilize their children, it makes them socially, emotionally, and psychological retarded. Even though these children earn high grades, they lack common sense. Other children sense this and these children are often targeted not only by bullies, but other stronger children.
Lacking in Knowledge of Age-Appropriate Life Situations
These kids are sheltered and not aware of age-appropriate life situations. An overprotected 13-year-old often acts as if he or she is several years younger than their actual chronological age. They are also overly dependent upon their parents as they were seldom, if ever, allowed to independently explore their social environment as other children do.
The Consequences of Treating Teenagers Like Children
Overprotected teenagers are often lost in comparison to their more free-range peers and tend to be:
- Outcasts and Pariahs
- Dependent and Risk-Adverse
While their free-range peers are free to explore adolescence in all its intricacies, the overprotected teenager is either kept under a severely tight rein or overly scheduled in activities of their parents' choosing. They are treated more like children than like the burgeoning independent adults they are becoming.
These teenagers often have quaintly inappropriate curfews for their ages while other peers have more relaxed curfews. Many overprotected teenagers become resigned to their parental influence, just accepting it as their lot in life. Oftentimes, overprotected teenagers accept their overprotective environment as normal. Some are so infantilized and passive that they believe that they can do nothing about it.
Outcasts and Pariahs
Overprotected teenagers are more at a loss in the high school environment than their counterparts in either elementary and junior high school. These teenagers often have nonexistent or extremely poor social skills. This makes them outcasts and pariahs among their peers. Teachers furthermore find such teenagers distressing and disturbing to say the least. These teenagers are emotionally underdeveloped in many ways.
Dependent and Risk-Averse
OPed teenagers are the most dependent and risk-averse teens around. Because many of them had no freedom and time to indulge in unsupervised behavior, many of them become quite unhinged when presented with an opportunity to participate in independent behavior. Teenagers who are the wildest and the most rebellious at gatherings are usually the sheltered ones who were kept under a tight watch by their parents.
Overprotected Children Do Not Possess the Life Skills Needed for College
During the college years, many overprotected young adults find it extremely difficult and onerous to adjust to college or university life and are often:
- Socially Unrelatable
- Likely to Become Unhinged
- Incapable of Living Independently
- Unable to Make Decisions
Alicia Bradley, LCPC and adjunct psychology professor explains:
"If [a young adult's] sense of identity is not formed, they may not know how to make some important decisions when they are getting out on their own, such as what field they want to get into, how to manage having a job and being a high-functioning, independent adult."
This applies especially if they elect to attend a school away from their parents' domiciles.
Overprotected college students are often the bane of their more independent peers and roommates. The latter do not understand how the former is oftentimes quite immature and do not possess essential life/survival skills every adult should have.
Likely to Become Unhinged
Many overprotected teenagers are under such extreme restraints that at the first opportunity when they are away from their parents, they become totally unhinged and wild. Bradley adds:
"[OP children] may also hold some resentment towards the parent for not allowing them the ability to grow and develop like their peers. This can cause a strain in the relationship and that child may begin to push back and engage in some risky or undesirable behaviors."
Incapable of Living Independently
These are the young adults who possess very little or no sort of life skills. They are often a horror to the more responsible roommate who was raised to be independent at an early age. Many OP children, once they reach college age, find it arduous to live on their own without their parents.
Unable to Make Decisions
These young adults are extremely dependent and are unaccustomed to independent behavior and decision-making. According to an article on PsychologyToday.com titled, "The Effects of 'Helicopter Parenting:'"
"College-aged students whose parents are overly involved in their academic lives, or whose parents created rigidly structured childhood environments, are more likely to experience anxiety and depression. They may also experience academic difficulties."
Many of these students have parents who choose their school and their majors in the hopes that everything will be smooth for them. They also find it onerous to use independent judgment regarding their college courses and in everyday life, however, many of these overprotected students flunk out because they clearly do not possess the prerequisite independence to survive and thrive.
Traits of an Adult-Child
How Overprotected Children Are Hindered in the Workplace
In the work world, overprotected young adults fare even worse. The signs of an OP potential hire include:
- Parents Who Attend the Job Interview
- The Adult-Child Complex
- Lack of Independent Thinking
Supervisors and superiors are neither going to tolerate nor placate this infantilized adult. Many employers express dismal horror at incoming prospective employees whose overprotective parents come with them during interviews.
Parents Who Attend the Job Interview
This was never done before. It used to be when a prospective employee goes for a job interview, he or she went alone. Nowadays, there is a "new" style of parenting that the parent is very involved in even though that "child" is considered an adult in societal eyes.
The Adult-Child Complex
The OPed child's parents appear at their child's job interview, informing the interviewer of how special their child is and the skills that can be contributed to the company. Of course, many interviewers are quite nonplussed at this. They figure, and rightly so, that something is quite amiss here. This adult-child is quite immature and would be bad news for the company. The prospect of this adult-child getting a job is now dismal to none.
Lack of Independent Thinking
If an adult-child is hired, they are going to be an immense burden on a modern corporate team. These adult-children make poor employees. They possess no concept of initiative nor independent thinking. They constantly want to be told what to do as befitting their familial environment. These employees are clearly not promotable. On the contrary, these employees are more likely to be fired or serially fired. Overprotected adult-children are more likely to be unemployable than their peers who were raised in a more independent environment.
Overprotected Children Tend to Struggle in Relationships
OPed adult-children tend to wind up in defunct relationships, during which the following happens:
- (The OP Adult-Child) Is Extremely Passive
- Parental Involvement
- Imbalanced Dynamics
Regarding relationships, these adult-children are often extremely passive in any relationship they go into. Most of the relationships, whether it is platonic or romantic, do not last very long.
No person wants to compete with the omnipresence of a parent or parents regarding relationships. People often avoid relationships with such adult-children as the relationship can be called vampiric in more ways than one. These people are viewed as babies and no one wants to babysit an adult.
Many adult-children, because of their lack of savvy or social skills, enter into abusive relationships when their partner is the more dominant and/or parental partner. Even though this relationship is often abusive and unequal, these adult-children reluctantly remain in such relationships because they do not possess the means to dissolve it.
The Consequences of Overprotecting Children
Why OP Children Fail in School
In conclusion, overprotected children are slated for failure in school and in life. These children are so infantilized by their parents that they cannot survive the school environment. Teachers view the child as emotionally, socially, and psychologically backward even though they can be academically prodigious.
Other children avoid OP children because of their needy and dependent nature. They are often a target for bullies because of their lack of social skills and street smarts.
Why OP Children Struggle With Socializing
Overprotected teenagers do not possess the skills that other teenagers possess. They are often not capable of indulging in independent social activities which are necessary in their development. Many overprotected teenagers are given harsher and stricter curfews than their peers.
Oftentimes, the only non-school activities that OP teenagers indulge in are those mandated by their parents or supervised by adults. Many parents believe that the teenage years are highly vulnerable and it is best that their teenagers be supervised as much as possible in order "to stay out of trouble."
Why OP Children Drop Out of College
During the college years, many OPed children cannot reasonably adjust to the rigors of college life. This is especially true if they elect to attend school away from their parents' domicile. Because the university is a more independent and unstructured environment than either grade school, junior high, and high school, the typical overprotected student cannot survive, thus they often flunk out.
Why Adult-Children Struggle in the Workplace
In the work world or the "real world," OPed children are quite abysmal failures. They often do not possess the skills necessary to thrive and survive in the workplace. They possess no or low self-confidence, no initiative, and a low tolerance for frustration and hardships which is often commonplace in the work environment.
Furthermore, the supervisor is not their parent but someone who expects them to contribute and pull their weight. Many of these children end up being terminated from their employment—not once but several times. More often they become quite unemployable.
Why Adult-Children Struggle With Relationships
Overprotected children fare worse in relationships where equality is required. They are often at the extreme passive end of relationships as they were raised that way by their parents. Oftentimes, because of their extreme lack of social skills and their passivity, they are drawn into relationships where their partner is more dominant than they are.
Even though these relationships are quite abusive and Svengali-like, they prefer to stay in the "safety" of such relationships than to develop a backbone and have a more fulfilling relationship.
The Importance of Raising Independent, Happy, Successful Children
Overprotected children end up to be failures in life in more ways than one, and OP parents are only damaging their children and either do not or refuse to acknowledge this. Many kids remain in their infantile state until it is quite too late to change! Learn to let go as a parent and let your children grow up. Let us raise our children to be fully functioning and independent adults!
Tips for Raising Independent Children
- Encourage Trying: Encourage your children to try new things, branch out, and get out of their comfort zone. Celebrate effort independent of outcome. If it's trying a new sport or a new activity, celebrate the fact your child gave it a try.
- Encourage Contributions: Invite your children to be part of the team and encourage them to make age-appropriate contributions. Have them help with walking the dog, putting the dishes away, or helping a sibling get to school in the morning. Responsibilities help children learn the value of trust and teamwork.
- Encourage Problem Solving: Rather than getting involved at the first sign of conflict or challenge, let your child work it out themselves. Don't always give the answers away. Encourage them to communicate and analyze the situation. What if they are forgetting their soccer shoes on the way to the game? Ask them what they can do to help themselves remember (e.g. leaving the shoes at the front door the night before).
- Build Confidence: By teaching your kids new tasks every week, you encourage them to develop their repertoire of skills. Learning new skills increases confidence and helps them to take those skills with them into adulthood.
- Let Them Choose: Rather than arranging everything for them, allow them to make decisions for themselves. For instance, ask them, "Red shoes or black shoes?" or "Orange juice or apple juice?" By encouraging the power of choice, you help them to develop skills as an independent thinker. Independent thinking is another means of helping your child to develop leadership skills.
- Average Stress Level by Generation
- Adult Children
- 6 Tips for Raising Independent Children
- Prefrontal Plasticity and Stress Inoculation-Induced Resilience
- Former Stanford Dean Says Overparenting Leads to Kids Being Unprepared for College
- Maternal Characteristics Linking Child Shyness to Psychosocial and School Adjustment . . .
- Overprotective Parenting and Child Anxiety
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Why don't some parents let their children choose what makes them happy?
Answer: Some parents believe that because of their extensive years/experience that THEY know what is BEST for their children. In their purview, they want to protect their children from unseen mistakes/sorrows. They also don't want their children to fail. They furthermore don't want their children to experience any unneeded frustrations in life. They want their children to have it better than they(the parents) had it. However, in order for children to be happiest and to reach their furthest potential, children must do what makes them happy as long as it isn't detrimental.
Question: Any tips on an adult-child where the damage has already been done to reach recovery?
Answer: Seek psychological or psychiatric help regarding the matter.
Question: How to report overprotective parents?
Answer: Unless the parents are physically, verbally, and/or emotional abusive, you really can't report them. You have to truthfully state that your parents are doing the aforementioned things. Otherwise, discuss the matter with your parents, counselors, or an impartial relative.
© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 10, 2020:
You should discuss this matter w/an impartial relative or better yet, a school counselor. Your parents are doing you a great disservice. They are crippling your life skills.
tate on July 10, 2020:
I just wish there was a way to make my own parents understand that maybe they don't know what's best for me, and maybe what they are doing is wrong and doesn't work. They always become too involved in all aspects of my life. I feel like I have no privacy. They don't give me the ability to make mistakes. They take away anything that I could possibly do to make a bad decision.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 31, 2020:
Thank you for your commentary & suggestions. What you have stated is pure genius, thank you!
Camry on May 31, 2020:
Don't be over protective and learn your kid how to play chess. A child who realizes that one does not always win but also loses, learns humility and respect for other people. I can recommend a very good and briliant book, that can bring you a lot of fun. It's alll about chess. The rules of chess are very simple and children can learn them already from around the age of three. Not everyone can or wants to become a professional chess player but everyone can use chess for learning. For this purpous I can recommend a book (net-boss.org/chess-puzzles-for-kids-by-maksim-aksanov) with bunch of great exercises, which will help you and your kids to be better in this :)
Boris on March 25, 2020:
I kept living my life with guilt thinking it was all my fault. Considering that this is nearly 90% spot on I'm done with that. Thanks.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 08, 2020:
Speak to an impartial relative or friend about your parents. Arrange to have family counselling as your parents are toxic & are infantilizing you. Your parents are abusive. Your parents are sabotaging you. When you are able, get a job so you can move out & totally disassociate from your parents.
Lauren Rebecca on March 08, 2020:
My parents are making me miserable! I am 20 years old. I am currently a college student who has dealt with my parents for years. I feel like my parents don't listen to me AT ALL. I have tried, time and time again, to have a talk with them, but have been shut down at every attempt to do so. Failing miserably. Oh, has it been rough. I have been able to make friends, but find it hard to create lasting and less "classroom" friendships. It is hard because when I do attempt to introduce or talk about my friends to my parents, they just right them off as a "bad influence" without getting to know them! If a friend invites me out, I'm given the third degree and a long run around as to why I can't go. They try to cover it up by saying that they understand, while bashing the person. They same can be said when it comes to dating. I'm scared of someone I like meeting my parents because they put a lot of pressure on people especially when they/I are not at that stage and ready for all of the formalities that comes to meeting someone's family. I find this ironic because they want me to be able to get married one day. I keep trying to gain my independence by trying to get a job and learning to drive, but they dismiss how I feel and make me feel silly for wanting something. I have lost great opportunities because of my parents' inability to cooperate. (Example: My dad felt it was burdensome to take me to an interview and then proceeded to bash me to my mother about my birth condition, saying that would be the reason I wouldn't get the job while I was waiting to leave, I didn't get it.) There were other situations similar to this one where he would ignore me completely. I try so hard to live by their rules and expectations while I live at home, but it hurts me. I have little to no life skills. I'm unable to express myself because they get angry when I do. This shows up mu other relationships sometimes as well. Then attempt to make me feel bad when they excuse their need to get physical sometimes (my mom). It gets to the point where even when I think I'm doing the right thing for myself, they ALWAYS find a way to rain on my parade. I can't do anything without asking them. If I did, it would have to fit their life schedule to even attempt to remember (ie. their plans) or acknowledge my own goals. I'm at a loss for what to do?
Patty Poet from Suffolk, VA on February 09, 2020:
This sounds like my family. Even today, I carry the fears that my parents pushed on me when I try to step out on my own and make my own decisions. My brother is 48 years old and my parents still try to steer him and how he raises his own son. Its tough to build your own self confidence when parents treat you as if you can't make a good decision without them.
jules tea on December 07, 2019:
Retarded? Abysmal? Failure? Misfit? Outcast? Pariah? Slated to fail?
I get it: overprotecting kids is bad.Very bad. Undeniably true. But the author is really laying it on thick here with pathos laden language. Overprotected kids have to fight and struggle harder to prove themselves. From the tone of this article, you'd think that the sheltered child is one step below a psychopath: though nowhere near as cool.
Igor on October 18, 2019:
Based on most of the comments here it appears that the parents are greatly responsible for why their children have a hard time growing up.
Sylvia Davis on June 13, 2019:
I am a overprotective child. I am 23 now and everything that i read is exactly whats happening now to me!! Nobody has no idea how hard it isbto have an overprotective parent!!! Its not easy and life is soooo difficult for me because all i know is whats going on at home. I also can't seem to do anything without askin my parents first. My relationships don't last long at all, i had to dump couple of guys because im worried of what my parents will think of me having a boyfriend. I also hang around children and i got fired at a daycare because i was involving with kids like im a child. I got fired at a nursing home because the workplace seem to be much different than home or school. I am going through a lot! I am so far behind! I don't even think like a 23 year old. Im glad i read this article..maybe i can talk to a counselor about this! So plz parents, dont be afraid to let your kids grow up!! I can teach other kids n parents about what im going through so that they can do better than me! Thanks.
kaleb on May 22, 2019:
YO! STOP BULLYING! ITS GONE ON LONG ENOUGH!
DrySeasons on May 07, 2019:
Sadly,wether one like it not, what is said mostly covers, what myown like has been / or goes through - because of how my parents were - NOT GOOD PARENTS ! The more Ithinkof in all ways things did go wrong - and how all of this hurt and destroyd my youth,young years and middle age - in different ways - I CANT BUT HATE THEM AND LOATH THEM !
When growing up - Ilived just for them - to please them - nomatter what. In the years I was supposed to be with friends,running around,and learning bout life,girls and having fun - they isolated me from them. And as i did notparticipate in the youth groups parties,dates, get togethers,and things - they letme forever be,and as I got obsolete I got always dumped as I must never has fitted in (wish I at that point in time,just partly started to sense - but not fully ).
My parents was to afraid for me hooking up on drugs - butin our tiny town,that was hardly great dealin the 1980s,andmost youth in that era in my area,was just into stealing beer, wine or some Vodka !
Later - i Was forever crushed byt their kind terror and need of controle - having been put down and all alreaddy when younger.
I fear - thier way of rising me, and all depressions that my isolation putme through - has created a Bordeline - and Its just yet more saddening. My current fear is - that asimin many ways not a full person - and Imyself has been growing upthis way, it will negatively impact my ownparenting ofmy daughter, though I try not to repeat my own parents mistakes with me,by trying thinking of things.
I feel wery angry, sad,empty and filld of all loss of the life others had but i never had - Its so unfair !
Nature Lover77 on April 24, 2019:
This article covers the subject very well. This sentence, “This boy never participated in school events as many of them were unsupervised” brings up additional issues. I think also that many overprotected kids don’t participate in school events because they’re afraid their parents will get overly involved in the event or get overly chummy with their sons or daughters friends because 1.) they’re possessive and are threatened by their child having friends so they want to muscle in on their kid’s friendship and/or 2.) the OP parents don’t have friends their own age.
I think #2, the parents not having friends their own age is often an elephant in the room. There is often a lot of embarrassing behavior associated with parents who never had friends of their own.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 27, 2019:
Also you are of legal age; however, in your current state, you aren't equipped to take care of yourself. You need to seek counselling which will help you develop the skills to eventually move out & be on your own.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 27, 2019:
Both of you should seek psychological counselling. What your dad did was to cripple you- please seek counselling.
Shyla Wickens on March 27, 2019:
I am a 17 year old girl and I'll be 18 in a few months. while growing up with my dad, i was very lonely and isolated as an only because my dad didn't want me and allow me to make friends with kids growing up due to the fact that he attempted to protect me from bad people and influences. this backfired and caused me to lack basic social skills and i developed extreme social anxiety. I couldn't go out, couldn't make friends, I lived in a shell and I didn't know what to do with myself. with me being 17, studying hard in school, working part time, having a car and only recently being able to overcome my anxiety and make friends, its hard for my Dad to adapt to. growing up, he picked and chose my friends. Whenever im out, he texts me and phones me every 30 minutes to see where I'm at. he uses a phone tracker to track me. now that I've been making friends as of recently, he has to set up an interview with my friend and the parents to make sure they're a good fit for me. my Dad tells me I'm NOT allowed to move out at 18. he makes all my decisions for me and does everything for me because he doesn't trust my ability to do things myself. this has caused me to sit back and think "where's my dad? I need his help." when accomplishing the simplest of tasks. I feel like a little kid that constantly needs her dad there to do everything for her. i am a great kid. I don't drink or smoke, I work and study hard. but this has honestly killed my self esteem. I feel like I can't do anything for myself. I feel like they don't trust me. people are always like "just talk to your dad" well it doesn't work that way. My dad has ALWAYS been in control of my life and no matter what I say, my opinion doesn't matter. he doesn't trust me to make friends and do things myself. I feel like I'm just going to stop seeing my friends as there's really no point on trying anymore. I need help. I feel so miserable living at home and I wish I could just branch out and gain independence. I'm afraid that I won't even know how to take care of myself when I hit the real world. what do I do? do you think if I just leave at my age of majority then that will damage our relationship?
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 23, 2019:
The whole family needs counselling, especially your mother.
Mark Thatum on March 23, 2019:
Hi! This article was extremely helpful, insightful, and relatable. I dealt with a lot of this growing up, and in many respects feeling the collateral effects of having been brought up this way by a controlling parent. Despite my having been brought up in a two-parent household, my mother was the one who kept a very tight leash on me, as my stepfather was often very detached. I had many conflicts with my parents, especially my mother, growing up and, thus, harbored many resentments towards her for a good chunk of my adolescence, and early 20s (I'm now 28).
She still attempts to be very controlling but I have learned to stave off many of her toxic behaviors. I no longer harbor any resentment and understand that we're all different.
Now my fear is regarding my two younger siblings, a brother of 19 and sister of 13. I fear my brother's lot the most because he is at university. He was never as robust and as independently minded as I was, and fears going against my mom very much. He's 19, stays at home as his college is not far, my mother, for all intents and purposes, forbids him to have many friends, leave the house for extended periods of time, doesn't allow him to cook for himself, he has no college friends, and is being inculcated with the notion that his education should be his only friend. He called me two days ago and told me something that hurt and disturbed me very much in that he was forbidden to go to his cousin's wedding in Michigan because of the distance (they live in Delaware...i currently reside in France), and due to issues our mom has with that side of the family as she and my stepfather have divorced.
My brother was very vexed and I felt very sad. And also, my brother is very emotionally handicapped as he acts, expresses, and carries himself much in the manner a 13 year old would. He tells me he wants to transfer to another 4 year institution that way he could reside in the dorms but I told him he knows our mother, who has expressed that she doesn't want him to move away from home until he has his degree. And also, were or should he move, I know he would have a strenuous time as he has been kept from experiencing the real world. Often isolated and alone with my mom hovering over him.
Long story short, I don't know what to do, and I want to help and am in dire need of advice as I know this is a ticking time bomb.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 05, 2019:
Jim, this is a dilemma. Your wife needs psychological counselling. She is crippling the daughter, making her immature as well as fearful. I suggest psychological counselling immediately!
Jim Avitable on March 05, 2019:
My wife does not allow our daughter to walk to school as she is afraid that someone will kidnap her. Also she does not trust our daughter to be alone at home after school as she is afraid she will go out with or invite boys.
Andrea on December 31, 2018:
I am honestly screwed as a person now because of the controlling hovering helicopter parent who has raised me as a 12 year old for 7 years I am 19 living with my parents I don't know how to make a freaking phone call, don't have a drivers license been working on that for a while. don't know how to even really do college and now she wants me to get my license and go out in the world (basically kind of kicking me out soon) I have no idea how I am supposed to live I feel like I am 12.
Teacher on December 14, 2018:
This is spot on!! I've taught pre-K through 6th grade for over 30 years and there is a literal epidemic of these children. And the parents are absolutely clueless!! These parents are THE most defensive people, and really believe they're the best parents. They actually look down on others and criticize THEM. This will be the reason I retire. These clueless parents and their dependent, draining, immature, anxiety ridden children. The parents take up more of my time, the children take up more of everyone's time. There is them - and then there is the class. An absolute stick in the wheel of progress to everyone around them. These parents hurt everyone, not just their child.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 04, 2018:
Thank you for your response. There are ALWAYS two sides of the argument. I totally agree w/your premise. What you are mentioning is normal parent protection.
Angigi on November 04, 2018:
This reads like an opinion piece and a one sided one at best. Maybe it is more of a personal scorn with her own parents.
I remember admiring my friend for being such open parent and gave so much freedom to her kids. She wasn’t neglectful, She just believed that her kids should be allowed to fall and learn from their mistakes. After all, she turned out fine. Lofty idea. I couldn’t do it. I set bright line boundaries. I took a proactive but approach teach them time management, prioritization, decision making skills. I helped them choose friends. I teach them good study habits. I teach them values and long term thinking about what’s important in life. All the things author described as overprotection. But Kids don’t just turn 10 and magically know all these things. Adults are still learning all of that as evidenced by many business books teaching those skills in the market. What’s wrong with learning it younger and from your parents? My kids have many friends and are active in school with leadership positions. I see no issue with my overprotective style of parenting. We have great relationships and talk openly about all topics including sex and drugs.
My open parenting style friend’s kids did do what she wanted - experimented freely- but seem not to have learned from any of the falls. Instead they turned bitter for the lack of guidance and now blamed her for their failures in life. One lives with her and watches TV all day, refusing to work. One just had a miscarriage with a baby she didn’t want anyway, after being assaulted by her jail bound boyfriend, both high when police arrived.
Kids need boundaries. Over and over again I see the kids from the hands off parents not living up to their potential. One friend’s two kids got kicked out from Christian school for underage drinking, another for posting semi nude photos on IG underage. Both were very smart and talented in sports. They dropped out of sports now.
If over protection means 100% dictatorship and restriction of all school and sports activities, prohibition from leaving the house and all social interaction outside the home, then yes, that would be very harmful, but I wouldn’t characterize that as over protection but borderline unlawful detentment or child abuse. But that is not the sense I get from author’s description of overprotection.
Truth is, every child is different and there is no one formula for every kid. Some kids thrive with boundaries and some rebel. I disagree with author’s assertion that overprotection would always 100% lead to all those problems cited from her observation as a child many years ago.
Finally, most 13 year olds are dropped off by their parents to school at our middle school. No one picks on them. I don’t know what kind of school author went to.
CJ on October 15, 2018:
I am goin through this and im over 20 its not nice idk how to live true this
TJ on October 01, 2018:
I know and love children set up for this painful end. You cannot avoid the trials of childhood. They just come out later. My only solution is to not let it happen to my kids. I have fought battles against this method of parenting and endured judgement, but my kids are turning out perfectly, surpassing those that judged me. My children are a pleasure to have around and sustain their behavior without me. They are surpassing all the milestones and choose to behave out of their own free will, nurtured and disciplined with boundaries and rules.
This whole culture of pushing off the lessons of childhood to appear to be a nicer parent is revolting. What happens when these kids hit the real world? They will be lambs for the slaughter.
Removing children from the processes of life robs them of the products. An untempered sword shatters. How do you convince a parent that difficulty is good? That the mess is more constructive than their perfection? That temporary conflict is actually better while the consequences of mistakes are small rather than putting those lessons off until the consequences are far more damaging in adulthood.
Who came up with this horrible model for parenthood? It is so unwise...
It is all about the results. I will endure whatever it takes to keep my children out of this strange infantilization culture. My gift to them is when they spread their wings they will fly.
My heart still aches for those who simply have no foresight.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 11, 2018:
You have made an eloquent response to the hub, thank you for responding.
Lisa on September 11, 2018:
There are several issues with this piece. First, it places all the blame on the parents, dismissing the responsibility that children have for their own lives. Second, it makes illogical sweeping claims and leaps about the development of children, deeming them failures from the outset. On what terms? Third, it inaccurately implies that parenting style is the sole factor in the success of children. Often, many children grow to realize that they have to take responsibility for their own lives, and they have a CHOICE on how they want to live. It's counterproductive to just sit there and complain about how their parents were overprotective.
What this article fails to account for is that many children, who lived with this 'overprotective parenting style,' have grown up to become fully functioning members of society, as opposed to the incompetent burdens that this article paints them out to be. They can work. They can contribute. They have GRIT to get through the bad stuff.
Moreover, social teasing and bullying are just natural phenomena. It's possible for them to learn to cope. They can disabuse themselves of the notion that the world is a rosy place full of rainbows and butterflies from an early age. Yet this article depicts such children as incapable of dealing with the real world. On the contrary, they can get a clearer look at the true nature of certain social interactions, enhancing their alertness as they get older.
Further, it is understandable that parents want to ensure the safety of their kids, since they bear the primary role in taking care of their well-being. It's costly financially to raise children, so it's conceivable thay parents would take more precautionary measures in caring for them. Enough shaming already. Let parents choose how they want to parent. After all, they were the ones who gave life to their children.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 29, 2018:
Have a mature discussion w/your dad. Delineate your concerns.
Lucine Rawiya from S- on July 13, 2018:
My parents are paranoid to the extreme. I'm never allowed to even hang out with my friends (without one of them tagging along) and I'm 17 in a month. I realised there's no arguing with them so now when I want to do something I just do it behind their backs or without permission. I'm going to have to move out just to be able to get a job. It's completely ridiculous and it's preventing me from developing basic life skills. Hopefully I can get out of this situation when I am 18.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 01, 2018:
In this case, your father isn't being overprotective. He is simply looking out for you. Your father cares, he isn't being overprotective.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 29, 2018:
Keep telling them that they are psychologically, even psychically undermining their daughter by their remarks. Recommend counsellng for the entire family.
Alan on June 29, 2018:
I'm trying to help a couple break this habit. They are having a hard time because their daughter is an adult now.
Their protection takes the form of reminders. "Don't forget to take the car to the DMV... pay your bills... your boyfriend doesn't respect you..."
They're afraid of her being hurt. Especially by other men. I'm trying to help them equip her. I think their reminders are telling her "You can't handle it... we're responsible for you..."
Liisabjork on June 25, 2018:
My fiances son is 13 and is being raised just like this. It came down to now that his mother said he is not allowed here at his father's house anymore because the son feels awkward and uncomfortable because of me. (I maintained my ground and most likely he felt intimidated by me) which is not my problem. I had a responsibility to have the boys best interest. But I was seen as crazy and stern. The mother allows him to sleep with her still. She dressed him and cuts his food. I get sick thinking about it. But needless to say I did all I could to stand by my morals . Like I said the son does not visit his father anymore. But, I feel and know the son was trying to get his way and constantly went home telling his mom how he doesn't feel safe or comfortable. He was trying to manipulate his way to see only his father in some way or form. Also to get attention at home from his mother. He had a motive . we had told him to keep our life business out of his mother's ears. But he chose to go back home to his mother's and tell her things by exaggerating . I see it that he is old enough to know how to choose his words and what to say to try to have an outcome in his favor. After the last incident I had enough! His actions had consequences. We were not going to drop everything and take time out of day to fall for his schemes. His father told him that he chose this . He CHOSE to be not allowed here. So that his father would have to drive all over creation so he can be with him. I put my foot down and refused to fall into the boys agenda because he wasn't getting his way here and. Because he didn't he coddled by his father anymore and he wasnt waited on anymore or babied. The boy chose to disclose and act the way he did when he went back home to his mother's. The information he disclosed to his mom was utterly disrespectful to me . His exaggerated stories and fantasiful tantrums was the last straw. Sometimes the only thing you can do is give tough love and difficulty stand up for ethics. This kid is doomed but at least I can say to myself I always did everything in the boys best interest but when that is viewed by an infintile adolescent it was his cue to throw a tantrum when he went back home . it's unfortunate , but the non custodial father always gets stuck with the crappy end of the stick. Loss of most of the power and ability to control the situation when his ex is a control freak and helicopter parent. But not to forget the boy knew what he was doing and trying to manipulate actions out of situation. But he ended up getting shorted.
The power we maintained was our words stand. And we didnt fall into his antics. Maybe when and if ever he grows up he will see our words stand . structure that he so needed . sadly I was his only structure in his life. He never had to question what I expected out of him. I always felt that he drifted toward me because of that .
But his mother has ruined him. That's another story.... "The jealous Ex"( and how she neglects her son and how she emotionally abuses him by being a poor role model and interrogating the boy and Downing the stepparent making sure her son will hate .
44 more years left on May 24, 2018:
I work with one of these people and i am in the construction feild !these people need to be yelled at and talked to like a drill sergeant!! Or this world must end today ! He is a great kid but “no cursing”no talking about girls”no music except classical,please and thank you after everything!no room
For that !his dad called before he started saying he is unique and a brite Individual then after a year his dad calls me again saying that I disrespected him! Because I elevated my voice and said what the f??k are you doing ! its time to cut the umbilical cord of your kids and show them how the real world is !!you are damaging humanity!!!!let them speak for themselves!!!!!!
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 02, 2018:
Have your therapist contact your municipal child services. They should be able to investigate your situation. What you are enduring is ABUSE. Better yet, have your therapist contact your municipal human resources or child protection services. Or you can contact extended family members(impartial), talk to them about moving away from your parents. Your parents are toxic. Something is wrong w/your parents!
- on May 02, 2018:
I am 15, its gotten so bad that i am not even allowed to go in my own room. Im not allowed to get out of sight. I need counseling but my therpist doesnt know what to do. Shes talked to them numerous times and they dont follow through. They have caused me severe depression, self harm, and an eating disorder. They are the only friends im allowed to have... every real friend i make my parents push them away. Its extremely extremely extremely hurtful to know theres a future ahead of me. My therapist tells me often that i will go crazy when i move out. That hurt to hear
Linda on April 17, 2018:
You described them well but these people also need encouragement and help. Many can flourish in a supportive environment. Many victims are kind, polite, and sensitive folks. They need to challenge themselves a little at a time until they can do things. They should challenge themselves to do difficult things. They don't want to be this way. Sometimes just a little support can keep them. Many have job skills.
Linda Berch on April 17, 2018:
Rose, be kind to yourself and try to challenge yourself a little more each day. I'm glad that many schools are trying to stop bullying. You aren't alone. Many people have grown up extremely overprotected. Maybe there is a support group online or in person. Many millennials are raised this way and maybe adults who have been overprotected too can help. These millennials are great kids. If we can overcome we can help and understand others who may be a lot like us.
Rosegolden on April 13, 2018:
Hi all. I just wanted to say that I was one of those kids you were talking about but fortunately for me I recognized the problem at 18 and started working on being independent and thinking about others. I wish people would stop blaming us and being mad at us for our behavior because it is most definitely the fault of the parents. Even though I'm in my mid twenties I am psychologically damaged from my childhood because I feel so embarrassed by things I used to do when I was younger. I was very selfish, entitled, threw tantrums up until 15 years old, and always asked people to do stuff for me that I could do myself up until 16 when a family member told me I was too old to be acting the way I was. I honestly did not know what I was doing was wrong! My mother never taught me how to behave or be independent. This has led me to be emotionally abused while I was sent off to a detention center and group home for punishment the people who were suppose to help me were the ones who bullied me and tried to make me feel miserable. Now that I think about it as an adult this one particular person has some issues themselves and shouldn't even be allowed to work around children. It was definitely child abuse. I try and tell my mom and talk about certain things with her but she ignores me or say I shouldn't worry about it or changes the subject. She will always ignore my emotional needs. So I never had anyone to talk to about personal problems. She was overprotective too. She would barely let me go out with friends when I was in middle and high school and when I was very little I had nobody to play with except for a relative every now and then. She wouldn't let me be in girl scouts she basically said it was stupid. Everything that I ever wanted to do as far as an activity it was stupid or useless. She would always kind of fight my battles and not let me learn from my mistakes and do too much stuff for me. She would always say I'm spoiled and laugh like she gets some type of thrill out of spoiling me. Since she laughed and joked about it I didn't see I was being wrong either. Mixed signals. She used to say when I turn sixteen I can date boys but when that came I wasn't allowed to. I hated how all my friends could do stuff like stay out late, have boyfriends and sleepovers. I wasn't allowed to go out anywhere at all after I rebelled. I wasn't allowed to use the phone and talk to anyone. I had such a boring and depressing childhood. I felt like a slave. I would never go out much in the neighborehood because it was boring being alone I always had to sneak around to talk to people or sneak out the house. I couldn't wait until I was eighteen and even then she said no I couldn't leave because the law was now nineteen. Still here she is trying to keep me under her roof miserable with a severe anxiety disorder. I believe my mom knew she was strict and tried to make up for it in ways by spoiling me and I also do believe since she kind of came from a big family she wanted me to have stuff she never had but it just messed me up instead. I felt left out and shy from everyone. When I ask someone to do something for me a lot of times it was because I was shy or too scared to do it myself but people perceived it as me being spoiled. A lot of people always misunderstood anything I do and now I have a severe anxiety disorder because of it. I hate when others judge me to the point where I isolate myself from everyone. I don't want friends. I feel like I don't even do a good job being independent or I could be better if I was taught at an earlier age. I feel like everyone else does a better job than me. My self esteem is low. I don't feel like I can do certain things on my own so I don't do them. I hate to ask people for reasonable favors. I would rather suffer than ask someone for a favor. I hate being put in positions where I know I definitely need some type of help because I won't ask and I will suffer. Even though I know the people I would ask more than likely would help I still don't. I have a fear of asking others for help if I really need it because I'm scared people will say I'm spoiled even though I'm asking a reasonable favor. Since I've been bullied and hurt by others and judged terribly for things that people will think of as me being spoiled because of one thing I did I can't help but think I'm a bad awful person. I only had a few traits of a spoiled person not every trait but people assume I have all those traits and take everything I say or do as me being spoiled which I don't. I don't even talk to my own family members because they believe the same. I guess I have ptsd. I'm extremely traumatized I'm not happy I'm very depressed I've been suicidal before in the past. I'm psychotic too. I can be paranoid at times and I blame some of my childhood experiences in bringing out this disorder. I'm always nervous about how I act around people. I will talk to someone then when I leave I will be scared that they think I'm spoiled even though I more than likely didn't do anything. My mind will play tricks on me I have ocd. I feel like I don't know things that I should know I'm always nervous I'm doing stuff wrong. I always question my existence everyday is a struggle. I'm glad to see there are other people who may understand what I'm going through. I blame my mother for ruining most of my life and I don't talk to her anymore. I actually live over 2000 miles away from her and don't have any desire to ever see or talk to her again. She was still trying to control me even in my 20's even saying I can't drive and ignoring my thoughts and emotions over my OWN child. I feel sorry for my child she just gonna mess his head up too. I wanted to protect him from her I wanted him to be happy in his childhood. Oh well. My mom is one trait away of being a full blown narcissist. She never behaved this way toward my brother he never even lived with us but with her father and he could do whatever he wanted and he never turned out like me. He has his bachelor's degree and is doing quite well.I only have my high school diploma. I think people instead of bullying and insulting these types of people should try and help them instead if possible. It's sad to go on a forum or read comments under a video about how this 6 year old kid needs their a** beat and calling them names when it is not their fault for their behavior. They don't even realize what they're doing is wrong. Too many people complain and but don't do anything to help for that reason they shouldn't complain.They should've been mad at my mom and not me.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on April 11, 2018:
Overprotective parents are ABUSIVE, no doubt about that. Overprotective parents damage their children under the guise of love. Get counselling.
Annon on April 11, 2018:
Awesome article Grace! I love it. There are some sticking points though.
You make it out like it's our fault that our parents are fuckwads. You don't seem to realize that we (the overprotected now-adults) don't want to be this way.
You say "Develop a backbone" (which I've been trying to do for so many years now and nothing seems to work) or suggest that an overprotected ten year old magically acquires both the awareness and the ability to change their parents' behaviour.
How is said child supposed to even KNOW let alone convince-- you know what never mind. More importantly, you make it out like we don't try.
I've moved to the other side of the planet, I don't talk to my mother anymore because she did a bad job of raising me. I've had multiple jobs (never lasting more than a year); I really, really try.
I don't like playing the victim but a child of overprotective parents is, as far as I'm concerned, a victim of abuse.
Emrah Candan on April 02, 2018:
Your article is an informative and clear one, I'll give you that. HOWEVER (sorry for the capitals and the future ones but they are necessary), there are gaps you need to fill in order not to label and condemn those small people who have nothing to do with this type of person they have become.
1) YOUR LANGUAGE: First of all I think you need to watch what you are writing. I've just read the comments of an 18 year old that he/she could not continue reading. Because the language is so harsh and you sound like you are blaming those kids for this type of upbringing. Really you do sound like that. I mean what kind of thought would a teenager have when he/she reads this sentence: "...they prefer to stay in the "safety" of such relationships than to develop a backbone and have a more fulfilling relationship". Develop backbone??....Isn't this accusatory now? Isn't this a bit humiliating? Do you think it is up to them? You may say I am sounding hypersensitive but believe me, most of these people have developed serious psychological issues. And sounding accusatory is not the way to approach. Please try to sound supportive and offer REAL solutions rather than bashing.
2) GENETICS: Secondly, you don't even talk about innate psychiatric, I mean genetically inherited, issues that many people have. Writing this article one-sided is NOT FAIR at all. I am sure you are aware brain chemicals are quite uncontrollable, very little understood of by the scientists and genetic factors have a lot to do with them. I can't imagine a person, who has obsessive-compulsive disorder, reading your article and not obsessing on this, not blaming himself even though knowing that it is stupid. Genetics matter!!! People developing depressions out of nowhere is not a joke. And these people can not cope with social issues and when their parents care for them it is not being overprotective. You may say "But this is a different issue, you are out of track". But then again, you need to clearly state this in this article because all sorts of people are reading this and even those parents with sensitive children may feel bad.
3) PARENTS: Being overprotective is only the parents' fault, yes BUT even so you shouldn't have bashed them too. Again your language should have been more comforting and supportive and offering solutions rather than causing more anxiety.
Sorry for my criticism level. I am an injured person too and have been through relatively harsh times. I also possess genetic traits inherited from my mother. Living in constant fear is not something a person will want, believe me. So try to be more empathetic.
Asdf on March 19, 2018:
I've been watching Terrace House, a Japanese reality show, on Netflix, and there's a 19 year-old guy in the new season (Opening New Doors), that exactly like someone this article would describe. It's so embarrassing to watch...but so entertaining lol.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 12, 2018:
Children of overprotective parents have to discuss the issue w/their parents. They also have to gain independence. It all depends upon the child's age. No matter what age(age of reason-7), children can discuss the situation w/their parents, detailing the result of the latter's overprotectiveness. Those who are of adult age have to gain financial independence & move out of the parental home.
Overprotective parents have to reassess themselves & develop interests & hobbies beyond their children. Many overprotective parents' lives are centered around their children. They have to develop OTHER interests so they won't concentrate their energy on their children.Of all else failure, there has to be outside intervention via clergypeople, counselors, & even a psychologist/psychiatrist.
Tony on March 06, 2018:
Ouch! What GMW says is harsh but so true in my case. Both my brother and I were overprotected as children and, as a result, missed out on the important, developmental stages one goes through in adolescence. He managed to overcome this (somehow) and is married with three grown-up children. His children are all well adjusted and happy having been allowed to develop and mature naturally. Sadly, I have not been able to overcome the infantalization I suffered and my life has been a failure. I exhibit all the symptoms - socially awkward, unable to form long-term relationships, unable to make decisions, always expecting to be told what to do,..., etc. I am 56 years old and look back at my life as a waste of time. I was married (briefly), have travelled extensively on business and been on some big holidays but, where ever I go or what ever I do, I feel that I "should not be there" and "should not be enjoying myself". These messages are often accompanied by an image of my Mother's face in my mind's eye looking at me with disapproval. I suffer very badly with depression and anxiety to the extent of feeling suicidal. I hate myself, hate my life and hate my stupid Mother for ruining my upbringing. The best years of my life have been flushed down the drain and I cannot have that time over again.
My heart bleeds for all the other people who have written about their experiences here. I can genuinely say that I DO know what you are talking about as I have been through it myself. I can only hope that the younger ones find an answer and are able to mature and develop to the extent that they can enjoy their lives. I think it is too late for me but please try to find some way forward and do not give up hope.
Thank you for reading and good luck.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 04, 2018:
You can speak to a friend, relative, or a counselor regarding your situation. You CAN change & be independent. There is ALWAYS hope.
- on March 04, 2018:
This article, the truth, was hurtful and discouraging. I had hoped to get hints and tips on how I learn to coope with things and become more independent, but I couldn't continue reading because it made me so sad. I remembered the things that went wrong and how other kids are so lucky to have learned to be more independent and fit into this society and peers.
I am 18 now and I am scared of the future. I feel like my school and friends taught me more about life and social competence than my parents did. A lot I had to learn and experience by myself. I have no idea about life, job possibilities, this country. I feel anxious and outcasted.
This article just reminded me about all the things that went wrong and how I have no future. Enough teachers discourage me about this already, saying how finding a job is not easy and it is to be expected that you are capable of teamwork, working with people. I am just not ready and just scared.
i cannot go back and change the future. I cannot change how I spent most of my time at home or with my dad. Never on my own or alone. Being on my own outside is a very uncomfortable thought to me, but of course I try my best to get used to it and I am doing a good job on becoming more independent.
My mom keeps telling me how she wants me to be her baby forever. This idea makes me angry and sad. I never was told to do house chores but when I was, I started a fight with my parents.
I am very sensitive and an unconfident person. Always in self doubt and insecure. My parents may gave me kindness and warmth, but I also gained their bad traits: insecurity, unconfidence, dependent on others (my mom depends on my dad to do many things for her), naiveness (from my mom), oversensitive (from my dad).
I learned swimming with 13 and I still don't know how to drive a bicycle, because I wasn't taught from my dad. My mom came from the Philippines so she doesn't know how many things work too. Her questions and lack of knowledge are very frustrating, and I am scared that I might turn into her in the future. The thought of being the dumbest in my environment is scary. People have no understanding or kindness if you don't understand something or they secretly judge you.
I am mad at them. And I am mad at myself. I just hope and keep trying. I hope that I'll get better help than they were, and that I get out of this cage I am in.
I am sorry for having made this so long. But this article hit me hard.
If you read this far, thank you so much for reading my story.
Luna Mars on March 02, 2018:
This article is so criticizing and lacks any type of compassion. It’s also so narrow-minded. The shame the victims (children) feel is misplaced. These children are victims of abuse. The shame belongs to the parent. It’s difficult to have an effed up life without even knowing why because you’re so accustomed to this type of abuse. You just end up stuck. Shaming and criticizing doesn’t work. It just makes you feel bad. When will people realize this. Had the author offered some solutions for the parent and the children of those parents.... now that would have been a great article.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on February 28, 2018:
Thank you for your eloquent response Overprotective parents set their children up for failure in myriad ways in their lives, particularly their adult lives.
Nicholas Strachan from South African working in Dubai on February 28, 2018:
I came across this particular link a week or 2 ago and boy did it unfortunately ring true re my daughter of nearly 23 years old.The devastating effect it has had on her due to the total overbonding with my ex(her mom) is now coming home to roost.My son who is 21 is totally the opposite and its been a difficult path to walk as the toxic behaviour imprinted on my daughter is really not serving her well and all the traits mentioned in the article hit home like a ton of bricks.
I have been searching for this kind of article for ages and combined with me being alienated by her ( barring money demands) it really has opened my eyes.
Jay Buns on February 25, 2018:
Know this all to well!
First! Always first,1st! care for yrself.
care about yr self happiness.
Because all yr going to strive for, will need that one ingredient
Wether yr making decisions for yourself-or thinking about how others feel!
It’s going to Matter how you feel.
Yr hands are on the wheel so go at yr speed! This is so u don’t crash.
I have a dysfunctional family as well, so believing what I know to be true, is what keeps my life grounded, all credit to Jesus for his help before and after I met him..xoxoxo haha,,
Yr going find yr way out! Just be willing to go the distance!
Regina Falange on February 17, 2018:
I'm 21 and have over protective parents. When I was 9 I had a friend to hang out with, but we were literally allowed to do nothing but ride our bikes. And I had to be home at 6 or they would be out searching at 6:01. I wasn't allowed to drive myself to high school. People would ask me why my mom was always in the parking lot in my car. I could technically drive, but my mom had to come with me. At 21 I thought I could go out and get food or hang out with a guy if I wanted, but no. Apparently it's weird and unnecessary to eat out by yourself. And to hang out with a guy, they gave me a hard time at first. But it ended anyway because I'm too socially awkward. One thing he always said is my parents must keep me in a cage. I really have no idea what even goes on around my town, like restaurants, I've never done anything exciting. Now every chance I get I find an excuse to go to the mall, and I end up drinking at the bar for the sake of drinking and as a place to hang out. Safe drinking by the way. Oh, and I work with my parents. It's nice they care, but I'm afraid I might be stuck in this. And I don't know how to get out. Step one, maybe a second job. Maybe find some friends to hang out with. But I go to work, sit with my mom in a office, then go home and sit alone. It's a depressing life. And I think about going to the liquor store, what's wrong with me, etc. for the parents reading this, don't overprotect your kids. When I saw that overprotected people become the most rebellious when given the chance, it's true.
Overprotected on January 27, 2018:
Jane Benton - it is no joke!
This article is great because it explains a great deal & makes so much sense.
My mum was the youngest of seven. She was born at the end of the second world war. Her dad's entire unit was wiped out; he survived because he was in the sick bay. At five her sister of 16 was in hospital. Despite pressure from the doctors, her parents refused a procedure which killed all the other young girls/ladies.
My mum nearly miscarried me, then as a baby I developed bronchitis, & at five I got lost in a department store. I'm sure all of these factors contributed to her Overprotectivesness.
I was not allowed to go to parties as a child because my mum said I might be 'fiddled with' by the birthday girls father. I also wasn't allowed parties. As a result I had few friends because my peers thought it was odd I didn't socialise. I wasn't allowed past the lampost at the bottom of our close in case I was abducted. At 14 I was allowed, after an almighty row, to go to the theatre on a coach with a school friend, her mum, my chemistry teacher, & a church group; to my utter shame my mum turned up with my sister & sat in the row in front. My friend's mum felt she wasn't trusted; I wasn't invited again. At 15 my dad finally intervened when my mum was refusing to allow me to go on the Geography field trip that was essential for my exam. At 16 I left school hoping I'd be given more freedom. Even though I'd had to pretend I wasn't interested in some of the boys who'd asked me out at school, I felt sure at 17 I'd be allowed a boyfriend; not only was I given a hard time, my parents were rude to my date. This continued until I left home at 23; but because my mum gave me such a hard time I denied moving out when I clearly had & kept paying her house keep. At 31 I had to move back home for financial reasons. At 46 I'm still here! A year into counselling I now understand my anger management issues & financial problems are a result of an overprotective mother who died nine years ago. She took far more than house keep from me as she pleaded poverty & made me feel sorry for her; because I was emotionally immature (counselling has made me see I was an adult functioning with a child's mentality) I wasn't thinking long term that I'd need my salary to support me. My sister also still lives at home & financially supports my lazy @ss dad.
I do have compassion for my mum. However, she inadvertently taught me the world is scary. This has had a huge negative impact on my life.
My advice to anyone dealing with an overprotective parent; please seek help, don't be bullied or made to feel bad; be assertive; remember it's your life; & although 'they' say it's scary out there, it's beautiful & exciting once you get past the fear.
Gaurav Ghongde on January 24, 2018:
I would have been more happy if the Author had given any solution for this problem, instead of just defining it..
Daniel Powers on January 20, 2018:
Read the entire article and its 100% me. I'm 32 years old and any time I mention going to school or moving my parents get into a hissy fit. I have no idea how to live like a normal person. I spend 23-24 hours a day in my condo doing nothing but ebay, television, and sometimes masturbation (which i'm trying to quit). It doesn't help that I have Autism/Aspergers and am hearing impaired. I hate life and I hate the way my parents raised me.
DP on January 18, 2018:
I'm 21 years old and my parents are still overprotective of me. It's not that I don't like it. It's just that sometimes it's so suffocating.
I have three younger brothers and my parents are trying to push them all out to be more independent and do the very opposite to me. Just because I'm their only daughter! It's so unfair.
When my family moved places, I practically have to transfer schools as well and since I still have to wait for my credentials, I decided to get a job. The problem is I don't have any experience. None at all. Because I've never worked all my life.
I'm trying to change things now, though, by trying to do things myself instead of cowardly waiting for my parents decisions and permissions.
This is also the reason why I suck at decision making. I am also a bit behind socially, but I've already realized the reason for that years ago.
For example, when someone talks to me my parents would just answer them, monopolizing the conversation for themselves as if it would hurt for me to talk. I just couldn't change it for fear that I would hurt my parents feelings and because of this I practically brought the habit of not being able to bring a proper conversation.
I do hope that it's still not too late for me.
Tony on January 15, 2018:
I have a 54 year old brother who has never worked other than a few brief stints lasting no more than a few months immediately following his college years over thirty years ago.
What is really astonishing is he has never had a drug or alcohol problem and probably does have a nervous disorder but it is one that has never been addressed.
Yet millions of people go to work every day and pay their own way and raise families and move forward with lives of their own with much worse mental illness than him if he even has one.
The real issue is his refusal to work because of his sense of entitlement is matched by my mother's blind refusal to make him work.
In the process she has destroyed her relationship with me and the rest of our siblings. I'll never understand why she felt she had to commit herself so fully to a brother who wont commit to himself. And in the process she has irreparably harmed everyone else around her as he is so toxic we cant even go near the home she shares with him
SeptemberSapphire on January 15, 2018:
I'm 18, and I can agree with mostly of what you said. My parents, and even my mom is so over-protective and even paranoid if I try to do things that they think I'll be in danger of. I was never to a school I never had friends until I got into a online school in the 8th grade. It took me years to find friends that is MY age. My friends are so fun and amazing to be with, but I keep this a secret with them because I fear they'll think that my friends wants to kill me, find where I live, etc. To be honest, its best that they don't know of them and what I'm doing. Its even at the point that my mom does NOT want me of my other siblings to have Facebook, Twitter etc because she heard ppl was killed from giving their personal info out. We have Twitter, but keep it to her as a secret as much as we can. I wish my parents weren't this, and its coming to the point that I would have to leave early. I really don't want to because I love them, but I can't take it anymore, living a life with parents decided what they think its best for us when it clearly is not. When I do get the chance, I am moving away from them as much as possible, even though my parent wants me to live in our town in which they'll think it'll happen, but it will not.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 30, 2017:
Yes, people from large/very large families who have small families are OFTENTIMES overprotective of their smaller brood. They didn't have the necessary parental protection as children. Many have to fend for themselves. When they become parents, they overcompensate for their childhood deprivation by becoming OVERPROTECTIVE parents.
There is an article indicating that Generation X, the generation after the Baby Boom, are classified as overprotective parents. Many in Generation X had underprotective childhoods & as a result, Generation X become overprotective parents to make up for their childhood deprivation.
Vankelford lee on December 30, 2017:
I feel as if I was over protected as a
Child. Most of this I've said so myself.
ybbagcamp on December 30, 2017:
Hey it’s ybbagcamp again I read one of your comments down here about parents with large families becoming overprotective and it really shocked me because my mom has 10 sibling and my dad has 6 siblings. Wow. Just thought I’d share that
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 27, 2017:
I think that you should seek counseling. Also leave home if you haven't already.
Monika on December 27, 2017:
Wow is all I can say. This was harsh but in a good way. A lot of things made sense actually.
Sadly, I am one of these kids. Not a kid anymore though, I'm a 26-year-old female. Between my elder brother and me, there is 15 year. By the time I was fully aware of my surrounding, my brother entered college and I was all alone. When he wasn't in college he hung out with his friends so... no one to play with, etc. My father drank on his off days (he was a passive alcoholic though - so he never abused us, nor did he yell or anything). My mother, on the other hand, yelled when she came home from work. I knew that there would be yelling when she got home and my dad was drunk. It was horrible for me. My brother somehow got over it by leaving the house and going to his friends' but I was a few years old girl, where would I go? So yeah, I heard anything. My grandma even told me several times to bring back my father from the nearest pub. I felt ashamed and all. It still clings to me. So when there is an event where there is alcohol, I only drink a little bit. I don't want to end up like my father. Even though my father cut down on drinking that much (thanks to a car accident), my mother still snaps at him for drinking more than one glass and it often escalates to arguing. I hate hearing that. It affects the whole day. By the way, both of my parents are retired so they're home 24/7 - which is also a problem seeing as in I am still unemployed. This generates a lot of misunderstanding, nagging, frustration, etc.
My parents were both protective and not. My father still is. As the article says and I thought it through, there was not a job interview where one or both of my parents had not accompanied me (they would stay in the hall or in the car, but they were always with me).
When it comes to buying clothes... it's a hell. I tell my mother I don't like this piece of cloth and she gets upset! Actually pouting, face reddening and all, just because I don't want to wear the type of cloth she selected for me! That's why I hate shopping.
Every single time when I leave home and arrive at the destination I have to call them that I arrived safely (I know they mean well, but maybe mean too well?). And if I decide not calling them, they call me. When I get home they want to know where I have been, what I have been talking about. Every little detail. It's frustrating. I have one dear friend, and I try to meet up with her as often as I could. I cannot think of an occasion when it was not a problem meeting with her. There was and still is something to do at home and whenever I leave for an outing my father comments that I'm going again? Not in a good time. So yeah, it really makes my day.
When I entered the same college my brother did, my mother worked there. So she knew everything about me. Almost everyone knew her there so I was supervised again and I hated it. If I did something wrong my mother knew it. We didn't have the background for me to go to another college so I had to take that one where my mother worked (university in Europe). It was hell. I picked out a course, but when I saw that it wasn't for me, she told me to finish it because everyone would be shocked and she would be left in shame that her daughter left college. I have a degree that I hate. Then I finished another degree I hate because my father told me that a BSc degree would be complete with masters. So I'm here with literally no qualification because there is no way I'm going to work in those fields I qualified.
Over the months being at home, searching for any kind of job, I was starting to love doing nails. So as soon as I get a job (even the lowest paying one), I will start a nail technician course. I want to make my own decision! I have been affected by my parents that I want to change things. My father is not happy with me not wanting to work with my degrees. Mum now just shrugs her shoulders. They meant well, and all I feel is self-hatred for myself because I wasted their time, money and effort for nothing. But I have to take steps in other directions or I should just kill myself.
I never had a relationship, nor a date. But after seeing how my parent's marriage turned out, I don't think I ever want to be in a relationship or have a child. I won't be able to stand up for her when the child would get in trouble etc... and my mother doesn't get it. I can't talk to either of my parents about these things. Two or three weeks ago I talked to my sister-in-law about this. And both she and my brother respect and support my decision to start another course to finally have some independence. So with this knowledge, I will start saving up money to start a nail tech course - every time I think about it, it makes me feel free and that I finally can shape my own path. I know it's going to be a really hard way but I have to change and start having my own life (even if I end up all alone without a family of my own).
I'm pretty messed up, right?
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 22, 2017:
Talk to a school counselor, relative, or a psychologist. You are suffering & unhappy-this isn't normal. Please talk to someone who cares.
Someone not important on December 21, 2017:
I'm 14 and my parents are divorced . I have not ever felt what it's like to have a real family and every night have dinner . My mom is over protective, and I have never got to have a sleep over or live how I wish to live . How my life is today is not happy and I'm not just blaming it on my mom but she see's I'm stressed and just assumes it is about something else but it is because of her. I'm always thinking that I am more happy with my few friends than I am with my small family. I'm not depressed but I am failing classes and I really do try but I am stressed and sad. My mom has a boy friend now and I never get to do anything with my mom now. She is always out at night getting drunk or smoking. I wish I could talk to her but I can't and every time I try to talk, she goes of topic. I feel like running away but I guess I do not have the guts to do it.my Mom should not be worried about me much. She should be worried about her self. I believe life is about family,love,friends,and also happiness but I don't get happiness I just get sad Lonley and no one ever notices. By no one , I mean my mother. I just wish I could actully have a family who could be respectful and loving and not over protective. My brotheres are also no help at all in this situation. They just make it worse by, hurting me, making me feel bad, fat,stupid(etc). If u are like me just try to live happy and have fun with the rest of your life. I know I'm not happy but atleast I know how to live a happy life
sharon on December 12, 2017:
I agree with this totally.My mom was super overproctive of me,she would not let me for example she would not let me date til I was sixteen and there was a valentines day dance that was I was intvited to and it was 2 months shy of my sixteenth birthday and she almost died.Then if I get a job that shes likes its okay but if not all hell breaks loose.One job she told they were going to break my glasses and destroy my truck.
Nathan Araujo on November 30, 2017:
To be honest, You have a point. I dont remember much from my life but i do have autism....however...im already socializing in many places at the time....its just that my parents have their own way of discipline. Just like you said..i wasnt allowed to go to a neighbor's house or anywhere but my home. I wasnt allowed to have a phone or any electronic. I was not allowed to go on Far away field trips(I.E. Universal studios). And the worst part is that im the only family member on my household with autism and my younger sisters get better stuff then i do. Thats why i never have a computer,phone......you get the point.....the thing is that....i just wish that i never have autism at all......life would be different by then
Larry on November 28, 2017:
I've been quite like that until 22, when i finally left my parents to live my own life. That was already too late, i am now almost 40, managed to improve myself quite a bit (went in parties socializing as i could), but am still having social adjustments to do especially with women. My lack of self confidence is a pain in the ass.
Anon O. Mouse on November 27, 2017:
My mother cannot see the harm she did in raising her children. It may not have been intentional, but our lives have been crippled because of her parenting. There is not one thing in our lives that was left for us to determine on our own. Every tiny facet of our lives was scrutinized, criticized, organized, dominated and run by her. She destroyed every last ounce of confidence I might have had in myself to make my own decisions. Even my hairstyle and clothing was chosen by her, even though I personally hated my hair and the clothes were not what I would have personally picked. I tried very hard to have my own life, make my own decisions - but failed miserably to have a career. I have a degree that I've never used. Not that I didn't try - I tried very hard, but could never get hired. I put it down to coming across to people as strange. I think my lack of confidence showed, as well as my lack of social skills. As a family, we almost never interacted with other people. In school, I was shy and awkward because I never felt sure about anyone liking me. The fact that I often had no or few friends didn't seem to matter one iota to her. Her bigger concerns were having a clean house and that we did everything we were told. I felt my own mother didn't like me much, despite her protestations to the contrary, even today. She deeply criticized me at every opportunity about each and every little thing. And if I didn't do something like she thought I should, she had a way of making me feel a disaster of immense proportions would certainly befall me. I always felt as if death or some vague but tremendous punishment was awaiting me should I slip up. Her yelling and greatly exaggerated facial expressions and voice did not help matters. I always felt in a great panic, even over what would seem little or unimportant matters to other people. She nearly drove me crazy. In fact, you might say she DID drive me and my siblings crazy, because we do not live what I consider "normal" lives as compared to the lives of others around us. But my mother lives in complete denial of any of this, which just makes it harder. She likes to live in a fantasy world in which she views herself as having been an "Ozzie and Harriet" parent. She's been far from that. She won't face that her children all have problems stemming from her misguided parenting. I've tried to tell her at different times about the problems she caused when we were growing up, but I end up getting all of the blame for what she did. It's a wonder that I'm even able to function. I've given up trying to tell her anything because she is now simply too old and too stubborn and is a completely lost cause. So I just do what's within my power to do. If I can't take being around her - then I don't stay around her. I don't try to take revenge or hurt her emotionally, because that just doesn't do anything to a person who thinks they've done nothing wrong. All it does is aggravate me further. The best thing I can do is decide what I want for myself and put up boundaries that I won't allow her to cross. I'm no longer at her mercy because I live in my own house and she can no longer control my life to the extent she could when I was younger.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 27, 2017:
I had an inkling that you were perhaps an only child who had parents from large families. Parents from large families oftentimes didn't receive the prerequisite love & attention as children so when they become parents & if they have small families, they become OVERPROTECTIVE to make up for the love & attention they didn't receive.
Also in the large family psychology, children are taught not to trust anything outside of their immediate family circle. Children from large families are oftentimes quite insular because they mostly associate w/blood-related children i.e. siblings & don't have outside friends which would give them a different outlook. As a result, children from large families are quite wary of people outside their circle. They are even suspicious of environments that aren't their own. Insularity, parochialism, & extreme clannish is rife in the large family environment. Children from large families grow up to be fearful & quite isolated & when they become parents, they pass this fearfulness & isolationist psychology to their children. It is no accident that people from large families can be classified as narrow-minded, not wanting to venture outside of their familial circle.
Anonymous on November 27, 2017:
I am separated by 9 and 10 years to two older sisters, so yes I am like an only child. My mother was from a large dysfunctional family (8 children and she was the youngest) and my father was the first born of a second marriage for both of his parents creating a blended family of 5 children. My father was shot and almost killed when I was 3 months old injecting more fear and anxiety into the familial mix. I would definitely agree that the attempts to keep me safe and alive (because I became very ill as an infant and almost died from pneumonia while my father was recovering from being shot) extended throughout my upbringing...so lots of reasons that the overprotection was happening. When I see my parents during holiday season my mother still treats me like I can’t do anything for myself. But I have learned to take responsibility for myself and care for myself. Despite not having those hallmark happenings in my life of marraige and children, I have been consistently employed, have owned a home and I enjoy what I do. I am artistic and that helps me with some of my emotional issues because it is such a great way for me to express myself and know myself. I am not unhappy that I did not have children because I think it would have not been a good decision earlier in my life when I was waiting for someone else to come take care of me. Now I am a good parent to myself.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 27, 2017:
I want to ask you a question? Were you the only child of parents who came from large families? I ask this because parents from large families when they have small families tend to OVERPROTECT their children to make up for the neglect such parents experience as children. Also, parents from large families tend to inject their familial psychology on their children. People from large families have a fear based philosophy. They are insular & fearful of the outside environment. They see the world as a negative place & see family as an anchor.
People from large families have a philosophy of them vs us which they impart to their children. Parents of large families who have small families tend to be THE MOST OVERPROTECTIVE parents. They imbue their children that anything outside the family is bad & that the world is a wary place.
Anonymous on November 27, 2017:
ybbagcamp- you should share this post with your parents. Their fear of losing you or having something bad happen to you is going to make life hard for you in the future. They need to read what you have written. To your parents- I am a 48 year old woman whose parents overprotected me similarly. I have struggled through my life, never married, have few friends and never had children. I was always paralyzed by the fear of the world that my parents instilled in me. It has taken a long time for me to learn to trust and care for myself . Your parents may not change but know that you need to learn to trust yourself and be proactive in life...
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 25, 2017:
You need to talk to a school guidance counselor who can recommend family therapy. The problem are your parents. They are not only overprotecting you but infantilizing you. You are being infantilized by your parents. Your parents are stunting your emotional, intellectual, & psychological growth.
Something needs to be done. If nothing is done, your entire growth will be stunted. You have to be the initiator, speak to a school guidance counselor who can recommend family therapy. What your parents are doing to you is not normal at all but borders on the abusive. Get help immediately !
ybbagcamp on November 25, 2017:
Please help me. I’m 16 years old and my parents are ruining my life. For as long as I remember my parents have been the most overprotective out of all the kids at school.
In middle school I was diagnosed with social anxiety and depression. I wouldn’t go to school and as a result got bad grades and lost friends. I continued to think their ways were Normal until high school.
I got a psychologist who I really like and have a good bond with. Whenever we talk about my problems they always seem to have roots to the same thing: my parents. I have no life skills- never done my own laundry, don’t know how to cook, etc. I have no social skills because I’m not allowed to do anything.
One thing that’s strange to me is that I had more freedom in middle school than I do now. In middle school i’d walk around the city with my friends and explore places, but now my parents track my phone and when I ask them if I can sleepover at my friends’ house they always text my friends parents (without telling me) to make sure they’ll be there.
Most of my friends are younger than me so they can’t drive yet, but I have one friend who is 17 and has had her license for over a year. She hasn’t had a single accident or done anything that would make her an unsafe driver. My parents still refuse to let me ride with her, even from school to her house. Whenever we want to hang out my mom has to take us and pick us up, or we have to take lyft which is pretty much a waste of money when she could just take us. Most of the them when she wants me to hang out with her and my other friends I just say I’m busy because I’d rather stay home lonely and crying than to hang out with her but have my mom drive us around and constantly have check up on me and call my friends’ parents and stay up all night waiting for me and not trust me when she’s not watching me 24/7.
My parents often tell me that they trust me, it’s just the rest of the world they don’t trust. They want me to go to college and be successful, but I don’t understand how I’m supposed to do that if I’m not allowed to be independent. Are they just gonna treat my like a 6 year old until my first day of college then just expect me to know what to do?
Also about the driving thing, I’m getting my license in two months. My parents said they’ll buy me a car, but I doubt they’ll ever let me drive alone. Sometimes I bring it up and try and joke about it like “I can’t wait until I can just come here by myself,” or “when I have my license I’ll just come to target for groceries myself.”
My mom usually does a little “haha yeah” but doesn’t say anything else.
I have gotten into trouble a few times, twice for riding with my friend, and once because my mom found something in my drawer, but who HASNT gotten in trouble?! Isn’t that normal? Or is everyone supposed to be perfect and never make mistakes? How am i supposed to learn from mistakes if I’m not allowed to make any?! Before those incidents I’ve never done ANYTHING to make them not trust me. Almost everyone at my school gets drunk every weekend and smokes weed in the bathrooms every day, and I’m such a good kid who’s gotten in trouble a few times because who hasn’t?! But those few times made my parents literally never trust me about anything anymore. I’m scared that when I’m older I’m not gonna know how to do anything or make any friends.
At least I realize what theyre doing to me so I can just try to ignore it. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to them, but I just say no to hanging out with my friends instead of lashing out because that’ll just cause more problems. I’ve learned to deal with it and hopefully their views won’t follow me subconsciously when I’m older.
joem789 on November 24, 2017:
Grace Marguerite Williams
Are you insane? To say that only a small percentage of parents are fit to be raising children? That is idiotic. Through the power of philosophy, science, and religion, we know without a shadow of a doubt that every person and thing in existence is subject to Cause and Effect. This means that there is no free will in the whole Universe. Everything we think is caused. Everything we do is caused. So we are products of our environment.
That said. Just as easily as a child can grow up blaming a parent for the way they were raised. The parent could just as easily blame their own parent for the same thing. A million people could see a single person as a major success story. While in reality they see their own life as a failure. There is no right and wrong in the sense that YOU can sentence other parents to failure.
I am certain that my parents belong in your supposed category of failures. And I just may belong there myself. But it shows nothing. It proves nothing. It means nothing at all.
There is also a little thing called predisposition. Pair that with the idea that there is no free will. You will suddenly see a world far different than before. Because there are still millions of children turning out the OPPOSITE of what parents desire them to be. What one parent might see as a failure might be seen as a success to another parent. There is truly no WRONG or RIGHT when it comes down to it. Because environment is only part of the equation. Predisposition has an enormous influence on a child. And when it conflicts with a parent's intentions, the child ends up in a difficult position. It is why we see children do "naughty" things by sneaking and getting into trouble. Because of predisposition. Good parents are nothing more than Guides. Spectators. Role models. We try to be what we hope our child will become. While knowing they probably won't. But maybe they will be close (or better) where character is concerned. If not, oh well.
I look at it this way. All people are saved where GOD is concerned. There is no Hell. No entity who chooses to make us and place us in this life. Subject to the Cause and Effect that surrounds all things. It isn't our fault that we suck at things. It isn't our fault that we make mistakes. Some of them being really bad. We didn't choose to be here. GOD already knows these things. And He isn't going to throw us into a fire because we did what He already knew we would do. He created all things with purpose in mind. And nothing in this world is worth falling to pieces over. These beliefs alone can make a better parent. But not a perfect one. We have no human ability to harness perfection.
joem789 on November 24, 2017:
This article goes to an extreme. It leans heavily towards the "be like other kids" parenting. Who cares if a parent takes a kid to school? Who cares what other kids think? The main question is how is home life? What does the child think about or do with their time? Have any goals? The world that matters is the real world. School institutions are far away from reality. They are an isolated bubble. So articles like this one say that kids should be in a school bubble rather than a home bubble.
Face reality. Because reality is what counts for most of your life. School is short and temporary. And it is often a crutch and/or an obstacle. A nuisance. I struggled my way through school. I was sheltered. Introverted. And I didn't even know why. No one was telling me anything. I got bullied. I got teased. I was treated badly by teachers. I fit many of the things that are described in this article. But I am 45 years old today. And I have learned a thing or two from it all.
The problem I had was not my parents and the way they raised me. The problem was how the school dealt with my issues. I didn't belong in the classroom environment. I was always pressured to be something I wasn't by the system. We had the option to homeschool. But had no idea because the school system wouldn't tell us at the time. So I spiraled through years of truancy and depression that could have been avoided just by being homeschooled. So you see. School officials don't care about children. And it shows in the way the system is designed. Statistics have clearly shown that the system is a scam if anything.
I gained more from staying home than while in school. More academically. And more through living life. I gained my social skills during my 20s. Through desire. Anything I had no desire for, I didn't bother to learn. It is what makes me who I am. I found my purpose. And I have 3 children to raise that will know better. Two of which have never stepped foot in a public school.
life is not about raising kids the way everyone else is. That's how you make a follower. Raising a leader is different. It requires non-conformity. Else the "leader" is a fraud. Like celebrities.
Emem Masorong on November 20, 2017:
This ain't true all the way, but I appreciate how you want us to really get out of the mentality of over protecting. I too, was over protected. I am a Muslim. And there are many "don't do this and that" things happening. I may have come too rough before on my other comments, but this time I want to make it right. There just seems to be a lot of comments about how other over protected people just say that they are who you said they were and they felt miserable. But not me. I cannot accept everything you said.
Slated means in Google:
1. cover (something, especially a roof) with slates.
2. criticize severely.
So that means that this article is just criticizing us. Over protected people are being criticized. But that's not a problem because as some of us might know, criticism can make us be better, and instead of succumbing in it and thinking that you are really doomed with the idea, then just do something about it and never worry because you can make through. You will. You must. You can.
The author of this a woman, and I respect that. I'm sorry to be too rough on the previous comments I made. I just want a good relationship with anybody I come in contact with, and I expect to have the same. But if you cross the boarder line, expect too to maybe have some back lashing. I will not allow any person to make me a doormat. I'm not perfect and I know I will never be and I am trying to be patient with bad people. I too make mistakes.
You just want to spread the idea or notion that over protecting is bad. It will lead to unhappy things. You may fail.
Like me, I just had two friends yesterday. New ones. I'm getting out of my nut shell and slowly but surely adding more vibes to my social life. They were younger than me a few years. One was 2 years younger and the other one 6 years but they are those types of people who already had sex and the other one as I know already is a father. But I feel like I am the youngest. Sometimes even in the family. I'm a Filipino, and we call each other here in the country Kuyas(brother) and Ate(sister), but in our family, we didn't grew up with such practices. Sometimes I feel I am not the older brother of my 3 younger ones, and even sometimes feel that it is them. I am trying my best to handle this situation.
As I said, nobody lived on this earth with a perfect life. Nobody was born, even if it was a kid of a Billionaire, as perfect.
Even the parents of the author, I know, were not. I am wondering too if she was not over protected but she felt some sort of lack in her life. Like my mother, whom I know had a life different from ours. That's what parents do. Giving life to their children which they didn't had. She felt she was already working in an early age. 8 I guess, and she was even a cum laude. I heard her said one day that she didn't want us to experience what she did when she was a kid. To be forced to work and all. All she wanted was us to finish our studies, maybe get a high paying job, have a good wife. She wanted us to be happy, but she and father always fight. That is since we were kids. Maybe someone could relate. But now, it's getting even worse. But I am hopeful it will slowly deteriorate. They will soon find love with each other, and they will ignite a stronger bonding love that is so strong you will believe in love once more. I truly believe that. Miracles do happen.
I have a different life than others. But I am still thankful I am alive and breathing, because I can change the course any time. The author said that there are still over protected people that become successful. Even non over protected people, some, are failures too right? But she is pertaining to us, because she cares, I know. She wants to get it over with, and do something about the issue. I applaud her for her bravery to do such feat knowing many will not agree and might hate her. She wants freedom I guess.
We all have the power of observation. And I do not belittle your wisdom of things. I am just here to give my opinion about this matter.
Just hold on. It is our choice to become successful. Just in the middle of your defeat, lies great immeasurable potential to rise back from the ashes. They say we are created in the image of God.
Who ever we are... Be strong. For life is hard. Make things easier by having the mindset that "I can" no matter what happens. No matter how impossible. Never "I can't". Just take care of yourself.
Nobody's perfect except God.
I love you.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 20, 2017:
@The Great Gatsby, you are correct in your premise. Only a small percentage of parents are parent material. Most aren't. People, for the most part, have children because of outside pressure-parental, religious, & societal. Most people don't want children at all. Also, most people have emotional & psychological issues which impact on their ability to properly parent. That is why I believe in parental licensing i.e. rigorously test people before they become parents.
The Great Gatsby on November 20, 2017:
I firmly believe parenting is only for the confident and self-respecting adults. Parents were children themselves, and some insecurities become life long problems. And once they have kids, they raise them aligned to those insecurities, so no wonder so many children grow up to be men-children. I am an example of that, too. My mom stifled me with her love (and keeps stifling me to this day) because of her own issues and fears, and I am sure that she is partly responsible for my life struggle to independent.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 18, 2017:
Speak to a trusted school psychologist, guidance counselor, or impartial relatives regarding your situation.
Overprotected Child on November 15, 2017:
In case any one is reading this and thinking to the contrary...
I was overprotected as a child. My mom might as well have been crazy glued to me.
I ended up running away from home at 17. I couldn't handle it anymore because I had no friends at all and was constantly suicidal.
And I got into way worse trouble. Homeless, couldn't hold a job down. Got raped. Major mental health issues.
DON'T DO IT!
I would have rather had a "normal" life and died young than live like this.
It doesn't get better either. I still feel afraid to do the simplest things by myself.
It's like I'm going to fight the urge to have my mom do things for me for the rest of my life.
I'm almost 27 now and have barely spoken to my family in 10 years. There were "worse" problems with the family as well. But my point is that trying to learn to function on my own has taken a decade and I'm still not getting it right.
thestruggleisreal on November 11, 2017:
I hate my dad so much. Im a regular teenager and he wont allow me to have a smart phone or use any kind of stuff connected to the internet. I feel so fustrated and I hate how he thinks its "love" to treatme like that but it's actually not. Its something that is ruining and torturing my life and freedom
Simon Says. on November 06, 2017:
I am in absolute and full agreement. I recognise all of this in my sister's children. She is overbearing, over protective, seeks to solve even ordinary and everyday problems for them despite two of them now being at college... and they are utterly useless, incapable of even fairly basic tasks. Highly intelligent but yet failing at college, relationships, and life in general. Spectacularly unaware of the effect they have on others, astonishingly entitled, and sadly just make me not want to be around them at all.
t on November 06, 2017:
I hate my parents they don't let me have social media and everyone else at my school does so i get bullied and I've had suicidal thoughts because of this. I know this sounds stupid but it really isn't.
Jane Benton on November 04, 2017:
After reading this article about the dangers of over-protective parenting, I actually thought it was a joke. Obviously there are dangers of sever over parenting, as well as dangers of sever under parenting. The author of this article seems to have a clear chip on the shoulder approach to parents who are over-protective; your article does a disservice to parents who need might actually need help with parenting. I've raised 4 very happy, educated, giving and productive citizens who were raised in a home with very clear boundaries, and thus consequences. They had a strict curfew, we didn't allow them to hang out with kids who were doing drugs or alcohol, and we had a say so regarding where they chose to hang out. We were and still are overprotective and proud of the outcome of our first four children, and with our last we will do the same. There are many ways to be a parent with no major formula- but a genuine loving parent will set their ground rules at a very young age and begin teaching wise choices, and consequences in a loving manner. As they grow older they can be given more responsibility based on their "wise choices" not based on their unwise choices or mistakes. Our children turned out quite fine being over protected because they learned about consequences in this world. That's the real world! No job in the world will give you a raise or a pat on the back for an unwise choice. Some mistakes can be great learning opportunities in life- but some mistakes can cost a life. Sadly, too many parents are afraid to set boundaries for their teens because they, too, are bullied and want to fit in like so many teens.
John on October 29, 2017:
This article reads more like a grudge against a person from a caring or wealthy background. There is more times than not 'success' from high parental involvement. Look at any sport where parents are involved heavily, even living through them. Those kids tend to do better on average. Look at the kids who can speak on the same level as their teachers from a young age and they tend to be favourites. Kids who have advanced vocabulary because they speak a lot to their parents from a young age. These kids tend to be lightyears ahead on average. The type of kid you are talking about is not the overprotected type, its the type with socially inept or problematic parents.
You can't 'over care' for a child and thats not the same as doing everything for them. Parenting is not something that can be explained in one article. A child needs a multifaceted approach to become successful, confident, athletic, intelligent, etc etc
D lish dounut on October 22, 2017:
It’s just sad when parent treat their teenagers like their only 7 and don’t let them outside only for school won’t let them have a boyfriend .
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on October 11, 2017:
I also observed adults who were overprotected as children. They are quite insufferable if you ask me.. Lenore Skenazy also has written many articles on overprotective parents and the damage they do to their children.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on October 11, 2017:
I read countless child psychology books & by observations of overprotected classmates in elementary school.
Just A Student. on October 11, 2017:
it is a very useful article but i am a student at GMS and i was to do a report on overprotective parents, i found this one interesting but the thing that disappointed me was i over read this twice and i didn't see evidence, such as if you got the evidence from a child psychologist or a interview of children or teenagers who was overprotected, haha unless im being stupid and missed it i'm sorry but i put down on my report as N/A and went to another article that had evidence clear as day and some had links to websites used.
Anonymous Guest on October 10, 2017:
Thank you for this really helpful article, Ms Williams. So true, although I wish you could have also included some suggestions or solutions to help children of overprotective parents get out of their situation.
@Alison Blue, I could have written that comment myself!! All my life my parents kept me locked up in the house so I never played with other children or talked with any people other than my parents. My parents were isolated socially, they had no friends so they never left the house either except to go to work and they never talked on the phone. The result is I never learnt how to talk on the phone and even today it's hard for me to hold a phone conversation, and I'm almost 50 years old now.
No one ever came to visit us and we never went to visit anyone. My parents forbade me from having any friends. They were against friendships, which you can see as they themselves had no friends either, through their own choosing.
When I was a child at school kids soon learnt to stop inviting me to playovers and parties, because they already knew what would be my generic response: I can't, my parents won't let me. I could have spent my entire childhood with that logo pasted to my forehead, and saved people the bother of asking me if I could go to their party or sleepover.
University was just as hard because for the first time I had the opportunity to talk to other people who weren't my parents. But I didn't know ANY social rules. If I was in a group I didn't know how to figure out when I was supposed to talk and when I was supposed to be quiet, or what were the appropriate things to say or not say. The only time I'd ever spoken in groups before was in supervised situations at school where the teachers chose the person who was going to speak, and gave guidelines as to what you could talk about.
I couldn't understand gestures, looks and expressions, take a hint or understand hints or know what you were supposed to do or not do in different social situations, since my parents had always kept me locked up at home, so I'd never had any sort of social relationships with anyone except my parents.
Finding a job was just as hard. My parents found my jobs for me. They forbade me from getting a job by myself and if I ever tried to get one, they forbade me from going to work. Need I say they didn't let me study what I wanted, either. They chose the career I would study, and forbade me from studying anything else. The result is that I studied a career that I hated and could never find a job that I liked, because I always hated my career, since I hadn't chosen it.
But as I was saying, it was hard for me to find a job as well, because I had no social skills and because if I did find a job and my parents didn't approve of it, well, I simply wasn't allowed to go to work. My parents found my jobs for me, and made me go to work in the places they had chosen for me. Fortunately, I actually enjoyed one of these jobs and worked there for 3 years. After that I left because it was only a student job, and I finished university. I wouldn't have liked to work at that job for the rest of my life anyway though.
Finally after university I left the country because I had the opportunity to do so. My parents idolized university professors, so a professor from my university took me abroad on an exchange programme. I never returned home, and that is how I found my freedom.
But even so even today sooooo many things are still so hard for me. Every time I have to make a decision, be it something as difficult as the next right career move or as simple as what to wear each day, I still look around expecting my mother to give me the answer, and I STILL feel lost even today when of course there is no one around to tell me what to do.
As @Alison Blue says, the learning curve for learning things at the age of 50, that you should have learnt at the age of 15, is just soooooooooo much steeper and it is just sooooo much harder than it would have been at the age of 15.
Isaac Solomon on October 08, 2017:
I am going to express this now, I do believe due to my home life that I am scarred, and mentally messed up. I learned recently that if someone in your family has BPD (for reference my father does) that you are five times as likely to develop it, added to the addition my entire childhood has been oppressive and traumatic for me. I feel as if I do have BPD. I feel empty at times, not sure what I am as a person, what I believe in or what I want. I never know unless its upfront and presented to me.
Then there's this lack of independence which makes it hard to find love, that I need so desperately or I turn into what my father once was. a monster that abuses people because he was angry. I don't want to be him, I don't want to make others suffer as I did.
I can't help it either, when I get angry I turn into a violent person. The urge to hurt myself or hurt others become so big of thoughts in my head,I want to hurt my parents for what they did to me. Then I want to hurt myself due to how unliveable and handicapped mentally and emotionally I am. I just want to escape the constant state of emotional and mental pain I feel, since even if I do get help, and if nothing is done and I still go home with the same father, he is going to be angry, and violent. Now how violent may I get, you might ask? I tend to get violent to the point I, sometimes punch or kick the wall, or the urge to strangle my siblings to relieve my anger, and I let anger get the best of me. So instead of choking the life out of them, I grab my sister, sit her on my knee and just spank her, when she cries I immediately stop and hold her close, as if I just snapped out of a episode that I had no control over. I hold her and apologize to her trying to fix my mistake. This last happened four months ago, and ever since then I've been harming myself instead of them.
Now I go to my room and just tell myself how much of a crap person I am, how mentally screwed up I am, and how worthless I am. Occasionally cutting and stabbing myself with a pencil and plotting my own suicide so I don't have to harm anyone again, and so I don't have to live through my hell.
I accept responsibility for hurting my sister by abusing her just to let my own anger out, via spanking her. It's stopped ever since I took on the act of cutting or stabbing myself.
Isaac Solomon on October 08, 2017:
I will try, if anything they will deny it and when it all passes over, and nothing is done, I will be forced into a more oppressed living, hence why I fear speaking out. I want to do something, but if nothing is done, then I am going home being ridiculed and down talked, how much of a drama queen I am, then just heavily punished. I sometimes, wonder if what I am going to be is worth living. I will seek whatever help I can.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on October 08, 2017:
Talk to trusted relatives who will intercede for you. What your parents are doing to you is beyond horrible. Your parents are beyond overprotective into authoritarian.
Isaac Solomon on October 08, 2017:
I am a victim of over protective parents, still am. I can never make my own decisions, I could never suggest something without being shot down or heavily criticized. I always depend on a friend assurance for when I make my own decisions, in which I would face criticism from my parents, then they would try all in their power to make me make the decision they want me to make. If I ever tried to act independent and speak out for myself, I was threatened to be tossed out on the street to get a full time job, which I had no incentive to work, because I never had done anything like that, and don't know where, when, and how to start.
I mainly get my incentives to achieve and do something in love from love, love from a girlfriend or boyfriend, which I can never get one. If I love someone I fantasize, think about it, act nice to them but NEVER ask them out, afraid of being rejected or told I was not even worth their time. I was so use to it from my parents, I feared it from others. Even now, at 16 years old I couldn't bear going to trade school, one where there was independence needed to learn the trade my PARENTS wanted me to learn. Whenever I tried to wiggle out or protest moving from the class they forced me to stay and said I was an idiot.
This point I feel uncertain, it feels inescapable. If I get my own jobs my mother and father would take money from my paycheck, they would most likely fill out the application for me. I don't even know what my skills are, I don't even know how I am as a person besides dependent and mentally scarred and clouded.
Then the big thing, whenever I tried to be me, in anyway shape or form, I was treated like a dog, talked down and that only bombed and killed my self esteem and self confidence. Now due to this, everytime I do something new or try I get a sinking feeling that I'm doing it wrong, that I'm going to be rejected by the other kids in the activity. I just feel lost,defeated, and a dissapointment to anyone and everyone I meet due to this. Even at 16 due to all this babying and over protectiveness of my parents I can't tie my shoes! To admit it makes me feel, embarrassed and a failure.
All the the pain, how much of a failure I am, only led to me causing self harm. Seeing how I didn't have a knife, or any thing but a pencil. I just took a pencil at night, or in the morning and went to cutting feeling relief of how worthless I was, how much I felt like a failure to everyone and society, that in two years I will be on my own and still unable to make decisions, and t hat I can't provide for myself without someone always constantly telling me what to do, or how to do it.
Now I hope this will generate some attention, that someone will tell me how to escape this hell I am in, one that will only lead me to failure. I want advice, I wan't help. I feel as if I can't escape this and that I'm doomed.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on October 01, 2017:
Thank you all for your responses, it is greatly appreciated!
Emem Masorong on October 01, 2017:
Thanks for your effort though to help. You're brutally honest. But do you think that we also need info about over-protective parents doing something good for their child? My parents weren't, as I remember for her talks, OProtected, as she already had jobs even when she was little. Maybe it was too much for her like when she was a child she didn't felt like a child, and so... with all the trauma, and getting Muslim kids(some are christians), she gave her all to protect and love us, but came to the point wherein my already college youngest sister is still being with her mother during jeepney rides to school. I wonder what other people think. You wouldn't see that anywhere. My mother is really paranoid of us being hurt because it's like a paradox, we are good people Muslims, but the opposite is seen on media, where we are the bad guys, and she is scared that we are hurt by the 300 people all over the world. Haha. Sorry for my first comment. I shouldn't acted like that. I guess I already have 3 comments but I didn't see it. Maybe I'm spoiled child don't care with you just to do what I want. Hm... Maybe I'll learn through life. Either way with you or I, it's still hard. But really... I'm thinking of writing a book about how I lived with over-protective religious parents.