Shower Your Kids with Love Without Being Overprotective

Parenting is hard and I’ve learned in my short one-year that there is no “right” way to do it. No matter what your parenting style, someone will have something to say about something you do. One thing I think many of us struggle with is being overprotective of our little ones. I think we can all agree they need the opportunity to grow, make mistakes and learn. There is also an element of letting go or losing control which I know I will struggle with as Aiden grows up. I am excited to introduce Zara Lewis who will discuss ways to shower your kids with love without being overprotective.



By Zara Lewis

It’s perfectly reasonable that parents don’t want their kids to experience any hardships in life. But, is such a thing really possible for any person in the world? There are various ways that you could raise your child so that they become strong and independent individuals who could face their problems properly. On the other hand, completely isolating them from anything that might cause them harm can have a completely opposite effect. In that respect, it’s important that you let your kids choose for themselves and fight their own battles. It will be enough just to have you as a support and their home as a loving place to go back to.

Fear of germs, dirt and the outdoors

For whatever reason, some modern parents fear that their children will get dirty while playing outdoors. Also, there’s the fear of them getting sick or hurt. Because of that, those parents feel most comfortable when their kids are constantly at home where they can keep an eye on them. While some may think that this behavior is protective and in the child’s best interest, the truth is quite different. Kids need to experience the outdoors as much as possible. There are many benefits to playing outside and even getting dirty. Basically, kids who are not allowed to experience this often develop higher sensitivity to germs later in life. Not to mention that their physical development won’t be as advanced compared to other kids who do play outside. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be present during their playtime though. Be protective just not overprotective.

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Fear of catching a cold

One of the biggest mistakes parents make is protecting their child from catching a cold, which does them more harm than good. This means that overdressing your child, covering them with tons of blankets and making them really hot won’t automatically prevent a cold. On the contrary, sweating under all those layers will only create perfect conditions for a cold to develop. Also, children can’t feel comfortable in such a situation and the results may cause various skin issues. If you want your young child to be warm and comfortable,  a cozy baby swaddle is more than enough. When it comes to toddlers and preschoolers, dress them the way you’d dress yourself. Also, you can always ask them about what feel most comfortable and warm to them.

Sparing kids from emotional pain

Let’s make things clear at once. There’s no way that you or anyone else could spare your child from all sources of emotional pain in life. Therefore, when you overprotect them when they’re little and even teenagers, not allowing them to deal with any pain, they won’t learn how to combat this problem when they’re adults. And you can’t hold their hands forever. Basically, not allowing your kids to have any contact with situations that might end up being hurtful for them will render the kids incapable to deal with any stressful and painful situation life throws at them when they’re grown up. What you should be doing is always being there for them to comfort them and offer them valuable advice on how they themselves can deal with a certain problem.

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Being too involved in their choices

If you constantly pick interests and hobbies for your children, how do you expect them to grow as individuals? Some parents go as far as to even pick college majors for their kids. This is not a fair play and you’re basically making someone’s personal life disappear. Not to mention how extremely dependent kids can become on you. While not all choices will be great, remember that you should only offer your wisdom and guidance, not completely overtake their own personal role in life.

Some might say that there is a fine line between being protective and overprotective. But there isn’t. Listening to your child’s needs, being there for them, offering support and love, allowing them to experience the world around them, encouraging social contact, instilling responsibility and problem-solving skill are some of the essentials when it comes to true protectiveness. If you keep your child seemingly safe by never allowing them to have experiences of their own and constantly doing everything on their behalf, your over-protectiveness might end up costing your kids a lot in life.

What are some ways you have found helpful in letting go of being an overprotective parent? Please share in the comments!

If you liked this article, check out this post on swaddles and why we kept our newborn constantly swaddled.

 

One common parenting struggle is being overprotective of our little ones. Learn ways to shower your kids with love without being overprotective.
One common parenting struggle is being overprotective of our little ones. Learn ways to shower your kids with love without being overprotective.

 


Zara-Lewis-babycastanonboard.comZara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because for her parenthood is like going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking.

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About Melissa

Hi, I’m Melissa! I am a mama to my baby Aiden Milo (born November 2015), and a police wife to my husband Dan. I started this blog because, after having Aiden, I quickly learned that exhaustion and baby brain causes you to forget some of the er-lovely (sometimes horrible and sometimes wonderful) details related to the first several months of raising a baby. Considering we may have more kids in the future, I want to document everything we do, so we remember what worked the first time around, and hopefully help other first time mamas along the way!
  • Folks miss it a lot on the being too involved in their choices, I think. And we are ALWAYS outside, no matter the weather. This mama needs her toddler boy to burn off that energy and explore! 🙂

    • Zara Lewis

      Great! Kids really need to be outside, no matter the weather. This is simply their natural environment and it’s very beneficial for them (in many ways). Thanks for reading!

  • Leighann Hall

    Yesss. l love this. I feel like kids do not go outside enough and “get their hands dirty” so to speak. I agree also, that many parents overprotect emotionally. I love my kids, and I know it will break my heart to see them hurting, but there’s a lesson there!

    • Zara Lewis

      Thanks for reading! These life lessons can be sometimes very painful for us, parents, but kids learn some great thins out of them.

  • Casey Fossett Powers

    I totally agree with play in the dirt! It is hard though not hovering over them some times in fear they will get hurt 🙁

  • Kathryn Minas

    This is a great post. As a new mom I catch myself in some of these situations every now and again and I have to correct myself to allow my little one to experience things for herself and to learn on her own. Thanks for sharing!

    • Zara Lewis

      Thanks for reading. I know exactly the feeling you’re talking about, but we just have to let them try different things, fail and succeed. That’s the real life.

  • JeeYoung

    Love this post! Lots of great tips! I definitely try to be as hands off as possible to instill confidence and independence!

  • Bree

    It is so hard not to shelter than from any form of emotional pain. It tears your mummy heart seeing their little feelings hurt.

  • Amber Marie Werner

    This is a great post! My husband and I are trying to have a baby and I worry I’ll be too overprotective, so these tips are awesome for me.

    Xoxo Amber

  • Laura

    This is one of those areas that I struggle. It’s so hard to let go and watch your child face difficult situations. It hurts my heart when kids are mean or not very nice. I know though, that it is all part of life, and I have to let go and just be there to help teach him how to deal with those tough situations when they come up. Great post! Thank you for sharing.

  • Taylor Pilkington

    These are such great tips and reminders! Totally trying to remind myself of these daily – ekk!

    xx, tbp