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Doing EVERYTHING For And Excessively Babying Your Children Will Only Cause Them To Be Overly Dependent Adults, Part 2/3

Updated on December 26, 2012


These parents excessively inculcate their children with the premise that it is not good to venture out in the world alone, especially at their age. It is not unusual in many such households to see such children constantly under their parents' thumb. Because their parents forbid them to effectively explore their environment (within reason of course), many of these childiren are quite stunted socially. Their survival skills and street savvy are poor to extremely abysmal to say the least.

What these parents do not realize that by shielding their children from the negativities of life, they are not giving the children the prerequisite survival skills and street savvy that they need. Many of such children are what one would call naïve and extremely vulnerable. In addition to that, such children are psychologically weak. People, particularly children , who are psychologically weak are more likely to be manipulated and/or bullied by stronger elements in the society and many of those stronger elements are not exactly positive and good.

Children who do not have an age appropriate level of survival skills and/or street savvy are more likely to be bullied. Bullies are less likely to bother children who possess survival skills and/or street savvy. They also do not mess with children who possess a measurable amount of commonsense social skills.

Teachers are not welcoming and do not think positively of children of overinvolved and/or overprotective parents. Such children are not as independent as those with less intrustive and/or less protective parents. The situation of such children is analogous to them being fishes out of water. These children often are unable to do simple competency tasks independently.

These children often expect the teacher to coddle them as their parents do. God forbid, if little Peter and/or Isabella receives a lower mark than expected on a task and/or examination, the parent often blames the teacher instead of assessing what skills his/her child is lacking and how to implement improvement. Many teachers to endure the travails of the overinvolved and/or overprotective parent who believes that his/her little Johnny and/or Samantha can do absolutely nothing wrong.

These children also do not have the prerequite independent cognitive skills. They are so used to their parents doing everything and/or almost everything for them, that they are unable to function if they are assigned to do more independent activities. There are some parents who expect the teacher to be the parent to their children. This is often impossible to do as teachers have many children to teach and supervise in the classroom setting. Teachers only have a certain period of time of spend with each child. However, many overinvolved and/or overprotective parents have the belief that the teacher should spend as much time with their children as they do.

Such children have very low competency skills. Even though they are in the elementary school level, their skills are equivalent to that of preschool and/or nursery school level children. They often have teachers and/or other school authority figures do tasks for them such as tying their shoes and/or buttoning their coats that children should be doing alone. Many teachers maintain that these children are trials to say the least. While other children are going about their independent activities and/or projects, these children have to wait for a teacher to help them do and/or at least initiate such activities and/or projects for the latter before they do them.

These children are apprehensive of initiating independent activities, projects, and events because everything available was taken care of by the parents. They are totally lacking in qualities such as independence and initiative. I remember a parent who did everything for his school age daughter and he wondered why his daughter had no inlitiative to want to try new things. Well, news flash, if YOU as the parent do everything for YOUR CHILD, you are, in essence, undermining the competency and initiative of your child! You are, in essence, telling your child that he/she is not capable nor competent enough to master the task on hand. YOU created the situation at hand!

Nothing is more exasperating for a child than to want to try to/or do a task then have a parent barge in and do the task for him/her. The child's sense of competency and independence is quite diminished. His/her self-confidence-what little is left of it- is totally demolished. He/she feels quite damned. He/she is screaming to the parent, "MOMMY, DADDY, please let ME DO THIS!" Even if the child does the task "imperfectly", he/she is learning task competency skills.

Why some parents are extremely loathe to have their children become increasingly independent and competent? The issue is control and unbridled power. They are comfortable when their children are vulnerable and weak thus needing to be rescued. These parents need to be needed and to feel important. This is narcissistic parenting. When they perform tasks and rescue their children they feel extremely important and useful.

As their children become older and hopefully more competent, these parents no longer feel included and needed in their lives. In essence, they are no longer the center and the be and end all to their children's universe. There will be other figures in their children's lives besides them. Furthermore, their children will eventually become independent and will NO LONGER NEED THEM- well, at least, not as much as they did when they were mere children.

To such things, this is perhaps the very worst thing in these parents' lives. To even perceive and ponder the notion that THEY will be a lesser player in their children's sphere is totally unconscionable to say the least. They want to be forever be the most important part in their children's universe. So they will do everything possible either overtly and/or covertly to make their children be forever and/or excessively dependent upon them. They reason after all, THAT is WHAT parents are for to proverbially wipe their children's noses when they bleed. Nothing is more disconcerning to a child whose parents insist in infantilizing them, constantly doing things and/or rescuing them when they are quite capable of doing it themselves!

Adolescence is often the breakaway period for young people. They are testing new waters and are in the process of becoming adults. There are some parents who realize this and encourage their children to become adolescence by granting them increasing autonomy and independence. We are not talking about such parents.

The "O" parents-ever so involved, protective, and vigilant is a different story all together. The period of adolescence is a quite hysterical time for these parents. They have somewhat successfully keep their children in an infantilized level. Now, that the children are becoming adults, they are quite threatened at such prospects. Many of such parents become overly strict in attempts to keep their children totally infantilized and immature. They continue to treat their burgeoning protoadult child as if he/she was still in nursery school. Obviously, this treatment is not going to do the child no good at all. In fact, this treat is going to retard the adolescent emotionally, socially, and psychologically.

Many adolescents of overinvolved and/or overprotective parents are going to react to this parental overinvasiveness in many ways. Some will become quite timid and passive. They will not have the wherewithal to assertive their wants and needs to their parents. They can be considered to be weak. They figure why do anything at all when the parents are stronger than they are. They are babies in adolescent bodies.

Others will become highly rebellious. They will find the means to separate themselves from their parents by either running away from home to establish an independent life, going away to a boarding school, and/or by becoming overtly independent at home. Such children often have an arduous task and/or an extremely tenuous uphill battle convincing their parents that they are somewhat competent when in the past, their parents have thought of them as mere babies who could not do much for themselves. To those who succeed, oftentimes their parents admire their spunk and their newly acquired adultlike independence.

There will be those who will be more destructive and furtive in their rebellion. Many will often do outrageous and self-destructive things in order to prove how adultlike and independent they are. However, they are only demonstrating how inept they are in many and social circumstances. Their acts will make their parents even more intrusive, invasive, and protective towards them. Their parents realize that since their adolescent act immature, therefore, he/she is immature and will be treated like a baby as long as he/she is under the parental roof!

Many children of overprotective and overintrusive parents who rescue and coddle them falter in high school. High school is the time where children become increasingly independent from the parents. Teachers in high school are not as protective as teachers are in elementary school. It is expected that when one approached the high school level, one can somewhat navigate his/her environment and know what he/she is doing. In high school, there may be some guidance and advice but you are somewhat on your own so to speak- no unnecessary hand holding and/or mollycoddling! Sadly, many of such children want hand holding and mollycoddling as their parents did this for all of their lives and they expect other authority figures to do the same!


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    • nnejross profile image


      20 months ago


      Firstly, thank-you. Your sentence : "the mother infantilized her child, making him/her feel incapable of charting his/her own course" finally, finally put into clear, concise words what my mother did to me as a child and into my mid-20s. I knew my condition simply as "Hell" and try as I would, could not seem to define or explain it. The shame of riding a tricycle, then training wheels, way over the age I should have, inevitably shamed me into further pondering of why I did those things. Finally, clarity at age 54. I am a mom of 2 very well adjusted sons. I cobbled together my humble life slowly and painfully. (NOTHING instantaneous about it)!!!

      Secondly, you are rude and cruel. I advise you to get out of the advice business immediately. Reason being, you failed to offer any. Those of us who were abused via over-protection by parent have suffered through enough, as you know, without being callously told we are retarded failures who should "grow a backbone, toughen up, and fix ourselves". (Mom, is this you)? Sounds like you. Ms Williams, you seem to have zero empathy and no time for constructive, positive feedback that people need. I am sure this article has driven many to despair. Do us a favor and stop "helping". Good day.

    • Nia Foxx profile image


      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Love this!!! I contemplated writing a similar article to voice opposition to what seems to be a problem in the 25 and under groups of adults I've encountered who have been coddled. However, I don't think it's just fair of me to say only 25 and under because my partner is the ultimate enabler with his son and step children from a previous marriage. Being the opinionated person that I am I have voiced my objection to his weekly handouts to sustain their life styles. His argument is that he doesn't want his grandchildren to go without and my response is what if something happens to him, any inheritance that his children think they will get doesn't exist so his children will be forced, for the first time to be responsible parents.

      I'm 39 and a divorcee with 3 children of my own. I have financially taken care of myself since the age of 14, put myself through college and have always taken care of my family. If I couldn't afford it we didn't get it plain and simple. I've Never, ever asked my parents for a dime so my partner's relationship with his children is alien to me. I could ALMOST understand if they were young adults (in college) or adolescents but they are 31, 28 and 26 (two of which are married with multiple children of their own).

      He talks about marriage but I can't even consider it with the dysfunctional relationship they have going on IF I marry him I will definitely become the bad guy because the madness would stop.

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Thank you so much. I plan to write part 3 of the hub either today or next week.

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I wish I could stop doing everything for my kids. A bad habit. Great article that all parents should read. Voted up


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