The Effects of Hyper Parenting on Children
The effects of hyper parenting are mainly reflected in a child’s self-esteem and their ability to establish healthy relationships with others. These effects extend into adulthood and one can’t easily identify or overcome them once they’re up and running. Hence the importance of becoming aware of this phenomenon.
Hyper parenting is a term that’s been used for some years to define a parenting style in which parents exercise a particular style of overprotection and excessive control over their children. This style of education has become a relatively widespread trend, especially among well-off families.
“What a kid I got, I told him about the birds and the bees and he told me about the butcher and my wife.”
The most problematic part of this situation is that parents don’t perceive these parenting styles as dysfunctional. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. The mentality of success at any cost has penetrated them and their children are just one more project in the logic of having “the best of everything”. The effects of hyper parenting are subtle at the beginning but become more obvious as time goes on.
What is it?
As we mentioned above, hyper parenting is a parenting style in which parents want to address every shortcoming and problem their children might have. They also want their children to be the best at everything they do. The other side of that is they also tell them they deserve everything they want. Hyper parenting demands super children.
This is a rather artificial style of upbringing in which a child neither goes through difficulties, makes mistakes, nor learns to make decisions. That’s precisely what their parents are there for, to keep them from getting upset, from making mistakes, and to direct their lives towards the heights of success.
The effects of hyper parenting could be positive in the short term, in certain areas. However, such effects are very harmful in the long term and from a comprehensive perspective.
This phenomenon is due to several factors. For example, families are much smaller these days and the extended family doesn’t contribute much because they aren’t close by. Likewise, today’s parents are older and wiser and want to be perfect parents to their ideal children.
Similarly, there’s a whole bombardment of information and offers, and raising a child is apparently a rather complicated subject that requires a manual for everything. Finally, the most decisive part is the fact that many parents have found in hyper parenting a model that allows them to project their own emptiness and insecurities.
The effects of hyper parenting
The effects of hyper parenting are many. The first one is the strong dose of stress it generates in children. Parents significantly reduce the child’s spaces for exploration, trial and error, leisure, boredom, and frustration in their eagerness to make them the best they can be. They don’t allow them to be children and of course, it distresses them. They implicitly know how much adults expect from them.
Derived from the above, another major effect of hyper parenting is the stagnation of the development of autonomy. The child grows up feeling they need direction in everything they do.
Thus, they don’t trust themselves or their own resources because they don’t know what they are because their parents haven’t allowed them to explore. Instead, they demand validation by an authority. They need someone who “knows” to tell them if what they think, feel, or do has any value.
All of this leads to strong insecurities and feelings of worthlessness, incompetence, and vulnerability. Hyper parented children can’t tolerate criticism and feel really hurt someone questions them.
Also, it’s likely that they’re afraid of everything and constantly need a supportive hand. This is because they don’t have enough presence of mind to venture into new territories.
Final notes on hyper parenting
Hyper parenting is typical of anxious parents and also of insecure ones. Dr. Eva Millet, author of the book on helicopter parenting Hiperniños: ¿Hijos Perfectos o Hiperhijos? (In English: Hyper Children: Perfect or Simply Hyper?) advises a more relaxed upbringing.
Parents must allow children to express themselves freely and participate in the decisions that concern them. They must understand that frustration is also part of life and just what makes humans stronger and more resilient. Character building is about not getting everything you want and making mistakes. That’s what life is all about.
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- García Manrique, R. (2009). ¿ Qué hay de malo en ser perfecto? Revista de Bioética y Derecho, 2009, num. 15, p. 16-20.