Overprotective parents are parents who stay close to or control all actions of their children. They want to ensure their children’s well-being, but their understandable, protective anxiety can be intrusive and even harmful.
Overprotective parenting can cause family problems and stunt the overall development of a child. Most parents are overprotective since they want to do everything within their capacity to protect their kids from harm and assist them in succeeding in life.
Unfortunately, parents often choose this demanding parenting style in a loving but mistaken effort to improve the outcome of their child.
What Causes Overprotective Parenting?
Having some rules and guidance for children as they grow is very healthy. However, guidance and strict rules are two different things that don’t let the child understand who they are.
When parents make rules that are too strict or too rigid, this can create adverse problems for the children.
Many parents fear that if they loosen the rules, something bad will happen to their children! Protecting their children from future pain or any looming danger they may stumble upon on their life journey is a natural character for parents.
However, it’s good for children to experience some life problems and pain while in the safety of their parents. It helps them learn their boundaries and limits.
You’re now becoming an adult, and your mom is still trying to control you and every decision you make. Read on to learn how to deal with and cope with an overprotective mom.
Understanding an Overprotective Mom
Teens need to understand that an overprotective mom, though difficult to cope with, is doing this because of love. Moms are not perfect and might have gone through an unpleasant childhood, which makes them act the way they do, although it has been years. Moms are overprotective because they don’t trust the world, or they don’t trust their teens or both.
As a teen, you should know that she isn’t overprotective. However, you will never understand the anxiety and fear that most moms live with regarding things beyond their control.
Instead, you should appreciate the reality that your mom is overprotective even now you are an adult. You will understand more than your mother’s worst fear was anything bad happening to you.
She knows how cruel the world is and thus does her best to keep you as safe as possible from it. As a result, you will understand some things you would have never understood.
Feel your mom’s unconditional love when she wonders if you are home yet. It can take you many years to understand why your mom, in some people’s eyes, is “overprotective.” Don’t see her as overprotective, and understand she is still your mum.
When you leave home, go to college, or get married, it doesn’t mean you aren’t her child anymore or stop her worrying. Instead, it comes with a whole new pack of worries. She isn’t overbearing or nosy.
On the contrary, she loves and cares for you and wants to know that you are healthy, safe, and happy. That’s all any mom wants, regardless of how old you are.
Ways to Deal With Overprotective Parents
In your parent’s eyes, there isn’t a specific age that symbolizes you are an ‘adult.’ Dealing with an overprotective mom can be overwhelming and challenging at any age. The process of being responsible for your own choices must be gradual.
Here are several ways to deal with an overprotective mom to create healthier and stronger maternal relationship.
Think About The Anxiety Role Of Overprotective Parents
Is your mom a generally anxious person? She could be overthinking or having some anxiety. Does she worry about little details in daily life, you included?
Many overprotective moms usually have pre-existing problems with anxiety that might make them more vigilant about their children.
Your mom’s parents may have overprotected her too. Try to understand what problems drive her overprotective character. For example, if she worries about your health, did she lose a family member to an unexpected illness? She likely has a good reason for her fear, probably based on her own experiences.
Understand that your mom has little control over anxiety which is a major factor in how she behaves towards you. Though it’s important not to allow your mother’s fear to dictate your life, understanding the root of the fear can help you deal with it better. Try to reduce parental anxiety.
Talk About Your Frustrations
Have an open conversation and air your concerns. To make sure the conversation goes as smoothly as possible, choose a good time when there’s enough time and space to have the discussion. Ensure nothing will disturb you.
Talk about the oppressive rules. Let her know the burdensome rules. Talk about your feelings, and make it clear you’re taking your own view and not insisting on an idea.
Your goals should be firm but not judgmental. For instance, you can tell your mum you would like it if she could give you some space while you are out with your friends. Of course, you will follow the curfew, but you would be glad not to answer phone calls and texts every half hour.
Also, appreciate your mom. Let her know that you understand she just loves and wants to protect you. Appreciate that she wants the best for you.
Create A Healthy Boundary
Personal boundaries are vital for everybody, even with your mom. It is possible to set boundaries with an overprotective mom without causing any damage to your relationship. When setting boundaries, you need to know which ones suit your age. Boundaries are very different for a high school teen than those in college.
If you’re a pre-teen, it’s not unreasonable for your parents to want to know where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re doing at all times.
As a pre-teen, it is not unfair for your mum to want an open dialogue about what you are doing and with whom. Give this information honestly.
However, you might have an increased need for privacy. It’s okay to ask your mom not to go through your things or stay out of your room.
For teenagers, your mom will be expecting you to be more independent since you’re almost becoming a grown-up person. You may need a later curfew and particular freedoms such as going out in the car alone. It’s reasonable to make these requests of your mom.
If you’re leaving home for college, your mom might struggle to release you. She might be frightened to watch you face the world as a young person. It’s all right to request your mom not to call you daily or ask you personal questions, like your social life or love life.
However, a phone call once a week can help relieve worries because she will know you’re doing well. Failing to contact her can also bring about issues.
Never Fight For Freedom
Dealing with overprotective parents is never easy. When trying to convey your message to be given some freedom, ensure you remain calm.
Sometimes, when trying to express your opinion, she might not approve at first. You don’t have to be mad or stop the discussion.
Avoid arguing and fighting about freedom to lower stress for both of you. Instead, be respectful and courteous when making requests for increased freedoms. If the discussion becomes heated, take some deep breaths and calm down before continuing.
After you’ve calmed down, bring up the discussion again. You should want an outcome that works for everyone.
Develop Coping Mechanisms
When your mom acts in a controlling way, what do you turn to? Many teens look for a different outlet for their feelings. They might turn to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain, frustration, or hurt from their mom.
Others might find themselves reacting in anger to this situation and ultimately just end up bursting with rage.
These are unhealthy responses that have the potential to have a negative impact on your life. You should find coping techniques to help alleviate the symptoms of low self-esteem, anxiety, or other mental health issues related to overprotective moms and their parenting styles.
Meditation, exercise, or something to keep your hands busy, like knitting or something related, can help you cope with frustration and anger when your mom shows controlling behavior.
Overprotective Parenting Can Just Be a Phase
Some parents might finally realize that their overprotective style of parenting is unnecessary. If your mom learns that you respect yourself and make good decisions, she can relax more, knowing you can make good choices.
As a result, she might give you more freedom to choose than what she had allowed you to have previously.
Parents can change their actions provided they see low potential danger or risk for their children. They can open themselves up, given that their children are capable of being self-reliant and making decisions on their own while maintaining their safety.
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