Protective or Overprotective?

Yesterday in a group, we were discussing how over-protective we have become towards our children. Of course, there were points for and against the topic, but the question remained how much care and protection the children need from their parents.

I remember, when I was hardly 12, my mom gave me 100 bucks to go and see Lucknow all alone. It was a nice experience for me as I came to know and deal with a variety of people on my own apart from seeing monuments like bhulbhlaiya. But when it came to me, I preferred to accompany my children. There may be numerous reasons to justify it, but this attitude stunts the normal growth.

In this connection, one of my friends narrated a very beautiful story of a man, who saw a small butterfly 🦋 laying few eggs in one of the pots in his garden and he grew curious to see how a new life would come up right in front of his eyes.

The egg started to move and shake a little. Thereafter, it started expanding and developing cracks. The man was excited. As the tiny head and antennae started to come out slowly, he got his magnifying glasses and sat to watch the life and body of a pupa coming out.

He saw the struggle of the tender pupa and took a small forceps to help the egg break by nipping here and there. Finally, the pupa was out. The man waited each day for the pupa to grow and fly like a beautiful butterfly, but alas that never happened.

It had an oversized head and kept crawling along in the pot for the full four weeks and died. In his eagerness to help, the man had destroyed a beautiful life.

Help and care do matter, but to an extent only. A plant can’t grow in shades. It also needs a bit of sunlight for a normal growth. Sunshine is of great importance in the journey of life and success. Our steps tend to stop as soon as we get a shade.

Struggles help all of us, that’s why a bit of effort goes a long way to develop our strength to face life’s difficulties.

As parents, we sometimes go too far trying to help and protect our kids from life’s harsh realities and disappointments, always with a protective umbrella ☔ in our hands. A child-centred parenting often produces self-centred children, who develop a deceptive sense of importance.

The fact remains that we don’t want our kids to struggle and face what we did, but in a way, we’re sending our kids the message that they’re not capable of helping themselves. Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Dan Kindlon says that over-protected children are more likely to struggle in relationships and with challenges. The excess of anything is bad.

I conclude with a quote by the clinical psychologist, Dr. Wendy Mogel:
“It is our job to prepare our children for the road, and not prepare the road for our children.”


–Kaushal Kishore

images: pinterest

41 Comments

    1. So true, Deeksha. Thank you for appreciating and sharing your views. Parental umbrella doesn’t remain with us forever. We have to lead independent life, for which strength is required and strength and confidence come from struggles only.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Narayana namaskaram.
    Sir, I kept reblogging without your nod since the sun shines on every creature to grow.
    Tribal children grow on their own but tribal officers’ children prefer only the company of city brats.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You don’t need my nod. It’s my pleasure that you think it fit to reblog. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. As regards tribal children, I agree with you, because, as I have mentioned somewhere in the post that we tend to stop when we get a shade. It applies to all of us. Thanks again for sharing this beautiful thought.

      Like

  2. This thoughtful post, Kaushal, is of special interest to me as I wrote about bringing up children
    successfully. Apart from teaching children the meaning of life and the need for education,
    one more piece of advice is vital:
    “If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L. means, First Attempt In Learning.”
    Abdul Kalam

    Joanna

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m glad you mentioned this quote of Dr Abdul Kalam. It’s so apt here. Struggle is nothing but a mix of successes and failures. As someone had stated that failure is not the opposite of success, but it’s part of success. Thank you, Joanna for your kind words and valuable inputs..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think as a parent it can be a juggling act. We (usually- I think most parents) want an easy life for our children but need to do this without wrapping them in cotton wool so they can grow, develop and stretch themselves. A world where children gets certificates for showing up rather than trying their best is probably not conducive to growing strong, capable adults.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I appreciate your visit and thank you for sharing your beautiful reflections. I agree, there are so many factors available in the society that induce people to go this way or that way, but we know what’s in the best interest of children. Our ways to act or react may differ, but not the purpose. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel so much about this. I can probably say I’m protective of my only child but not overly protective. I believe that children also need to grow and learn outside of their protective zone. Otherwise, they’ll be too dependent which is also not good. Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, excess of anything is bad. I feel happy for you. Children must feel comfortable when they come out of their comfort zones, because today or tomorrow they have to stand on their own feet. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

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