I understand that as parents we all go through stages when we can feel overly protective of our children, but I am wondering is it common for parents to continue their lives in that manner?

When a couple choose to not go out together in the evenings or at any time the children are around because they do not want to leave the children alone (alone but with a grandparent or a close friend who can babysit) I ask myself how healthy can this be for the children and for the parents and without being judgmental towards the parents?

So my questions are is this behavior quite common, and whether this type of protectiveness could lead to problems in the long run?

Additional Note: I just realized that I didn't actually specify age ranges and I think that I am actually more interested in the level of protectiveness observed by parents with slightly older children as well and in that I mean young children ages up to 10 years.

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asked 12 May '10, 06:38

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 15 May '10, 10:34

I feel like I'm constantly battling myself so I'm NOT overprotective. I want to protect my baby from every little thing, but I know there's a lot he has to figure out for himself. I let him crawl all over the house. I let him crawl around outside (I'm more watchful out there of course, but stuff still ends up in his mouth). I don't hover around whenever he's trying to stand, and he falls now and then, but it's a good learning experience.

I think it's about understanding your own child and when he or she is ready to try certain things. My own mom was overprotective, and she didn't even let me light a match until I was 18! I could easily have done it safely many years before then.

When my baby was only 2 or 3 months old, I was walking with a friend and her toddler was zooming ahead on a scooter. "Do you think he's OK?" I asked, and she said "Oh yes, I've learned I just have to let him go, and if he falls, he'll get up on his own." Sure enough, he fell spectacularly at the bottom of the hill. It took everything I had not to race down there to see if he was OK, but my friend sauntered down calmly, and he'd gotten up again before she got to him. I think that kid's gonna be a pretty tough, smart kid. I was impressed.

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answered 13 May '10, 16:20

Anne's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

Your answer felt very familiar Anne, and I personally believe it is great that we (parents of today) are in some cases slightly more aware of our own actions, than our own parents were.

(15 May '10, 09:07) Emi

I don't know if I want to label what you're talking about as "over-protectiveness" because the "over" implies judgment, but I have observed it routinely.

I think the first time we went out for an "overnight" without our daughter, she was 4 months old, and she stayed with my parents. It felt like a big deal, but we weren't worried. However, a lot of people remarked how they hadn't gone out at all for a full year.

In some cases it's because they didn't have family or someone trusted enough nearby, but in other cases they just couldn't stand the anxiety of it themselves. My theory is that there are a lot of judgmental parents out there who go out of their way to make other parents, particularly mothers, feel guilty if they aren't with the child and doing something for the child 100% of the time. People would rather try to live up to those unrealistic expectations than take a little "me" time once in a while.

But, as I said, that's a theory. :)

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 13 May '10, 00:44

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦
accept rate: 10%

edited 14 May '10, 21:33

I do agree with your theory Scott! Having family around that you can trust and rely on probably makes a big difference.

(15 May '10, 09:02) Emi
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Asked: 12 May '10, 06:38

Seen: 3,712 times

Last updated: 15 May '10, 10:34