ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Overcontrolling Parent

Updated on September 8, 2013
There are parents who believe that THEIR children are not individuals but extensions of them.They view their children as blank slates that they can control and dictate to.
There are parents who believe that THEIR children are not individuals but extensions of them.They view their children as blank slates that they can control and dictate to.
Such parents can be classified as OVERCONTROLLING.They believe that they must be in charge 24/7/365 and 100% of the time regarding child rearing.
Such parents can be classified as OVERCONTROLLING.They believe that they must be in charge 24/7/365 and 100% of the time regarding child rearing.
Overcontrolling parents can be quite authoritarian.They argue that THEIR word is a commandment to be followed without question.The concept of their children being individuals is a foreign one to such parents.
Overcontrolling parents can be quite authoritarian.They argue that THEIR word is a commandment to be followed without question.The concept of their children being individuals is a foreign one to such parents.
These parents believe that as adults, they are THE knowledgeable ones & should make ALL the decisions.They maintain that children should stay in a child's place-to be SEEN, NOT HEARD.
These parents believe that as adults, they are THE knowledgeable ones & should make ALL the decisions.They maintain that children should stay in a child's place-to be SEEN, NOT HEARD.
Overcontrolling parents contend that children are unequal & therefore subordinate to them.They are condescending towards their children yet they demand that they children respect them.
Overcontrolling parents contend that children are unequal & therefore subordinate to them.They are condescending towards their children yet they demand that they children respect them.
Such parents emphasize blind/strict obedience to THEM.They avidly discourage their children's independence as it is thought as disobedience &/or defiance.They want obedient children to EASILY control.
Such parents emphasize blind/strict obedience to THEM.They avidly discourage their children's independence as it is thought as disobedience &/or defiance.They want obedient children to EASILY control.
Overcontrolling parents believe that PARENTS should be THE DOMINANT one in the relationship.They feel that they are to guide their children in their particular methodology.They believe that parenting is an extremely serious BUSINESS.
Overcontrolling parents believe that PARENTS should be THE DOMINANT one in the relationship.They feel that they are to guide their children in their particular methodology.They believe that parenting is an extremely serious BUSINESS.
These parents contend that their children are not to be trusted if left to their own devices. They control many aspects of their children's lives as possible.They argue that it is THEIR duty to train their children to parental expectations.
These parents contend that their children are not to be trusted if left to their own devices. They control many aspects of their children's lives as possible.They argue that it is THEIR duty to train their children to parental expectations.
The average overcontrolling parent believe that their children should make as little mistakes as possible.They want their children to be perfect or near perfect.They want their children to be little angels who do not cause parental stress.
The average overcontrolling parent believe that their children should make as little mistakes as possible.They want their children to be perfect or near perfect.They want their children to be little angels who do not cause parental stress.
These parents insist that they& their children have the same outlook &philosophy.They are threatened if their children elect to have a different outlook &/or philosophy from theirs.They want to have an orderly familial universe.
These parents insist that they& their children have the same outlook &philosophy.They are threatened if their children elect to have a different outlook &/or philosophy from theirs.They want to have an orderly familial universe.
Many overcontrolling parents become more so during their children's adolescence.They express dismay that their children are burgeoning adults & becoming more independent & autonomous.
Many overcontrolling parents become more so during their children's adolescence.They express dismay that their children are burgeoning adults & becoming more independent & autonomous.
Overcontrolling parents do more harm than good.Some children become risk aversive & overly dependent while others become very defiant & antiauthoritarian, cutting off all parental ties once they become adults.
Overcontrolling parents do more harm than good.Some children become risk aversive & overly dependent while others become very defiant & antiauthoritarian, cutting off all parental ties once they become adults.
Overcontrolling parents need to realize that their children cannot be controlled into their image & molded to their specific expectations. Children are individuals with minds of their own and should be respected & nurtured as such.
Overcontrolling parents need to realize that their children cannot be controlled into their image & molded to their specific expectations. Children are individuals with minds of their own and should be respected & nurtured as such.

Control........Morning, Noon, and Night!

There are parents who believe that their children are not individuals but actually extensions of them. They believe that children are not thinking beings but are blank slates that they can control and dictate to. They adhere to the mantra that children should be seen but never heard.

Yes, you may think that such parents are rare in the modern era and are relics from a more traditional era. Oh no, there are MANY parents today that could be classified as overcontrolling. These parents literally believe that they should be in charge 24/7/365 and 100% of the rearing of their children.

Scratch an overcontrolling parent and you see that the parent can be quite authoritarian. These parents believe that their word is etched in stone and their commands should never be questioned nor deviated from. These parents believe that their children are not blossoming individuals but are objects to mold in according to their wishes.

The overcontrolling parents do not believe that their children are knowledgeable to make any type of decision. They contend that it is better if an adult such as they make the decisions. They further assert that as parents, they have more knowledge and the wherewithal to make all the decisions. They maintain that children should stay in a child's place.

To the overcontrolling parent, a child is clearly unequal and/or subordinate to them. These are the parents who believe in interfacing condescendingly to their children and/or anyone younger than they are. However, these are the same parents who steadfastly demand that their children respect and obey them even though they never treat their children respectively and/or with dignity.

The overcontrolling parent is the one who emphasizes unquestioning obedience to them and/or other authority figures. This is the type of parent who actively discourages a child's independent thought because this would be an act of disobedience and utter defiance. This parents want obedient children because they can be easily controlled. Furthermore, obedient children can be easily manipulated to the will of the overcontrolling parent.

Children of overcontrolling parents are usually held on a tight leash. They are raised in strict dichotomies of their parents' way and everyone's way. They are strictly indoctrinated that their parents' ways are the only correct ones and that everyone else's opinions are suspect. These are the parents who demand that their children adhere to the same lifestyle that they do whether it be religious, political, racial, and/or socioeconomic.

Overcontrolling parents often act in the way they do because they believe that as parents that they should be in the dominant, decision making role. They take seriously the business of parenting. They maintained that their children should be guided as to the correct methodology of doing this and they are the ones to do it.

I remember an overcontrolling father of a teenage daughter who still made all of the decisions for her. It was the father's belief that his daughter was STILL a child and deemed not capable of making major decisions. The father added that it was his responsibility to mold his daughter into the woman she should become. The father did not think of his daughter as a burgeoning adult but as a helpless child "needing" his expertise.

A second example of overcontrolled parenting is one of my coworkers who had an adult son, gave him detailed instructions as what and how many interviews he should go on. Besides that, she further dictated to him what jobs he should considered and/or take. She added that after each interview, he must detail how each interview was. This woman was so overcontrolling that her friend, a prominent local politician, told her to let her son be an independent adult instead of a dependent, infantilized child who was incapable of making any type of decision.

Overcontrolling parents contend that their children are not to be trusted if left to their own devices. They exercise control over as many aspects of their children's lives as possible to ascertain that the latter are as proper and well-trained as possible. The idea that children should be allowed to be childlike and explore their environment is a total anathema to the overcontrolling parent. They believe that children are by nature wild and uncivilized thus it is their parental duty to cultivate and civilize them to their expectations.

The average overcontrolling parent wholeheartedly believes that their children should make as few mistakes as possible. The underlying premise of many overcontrolling parents is to have perfect little angels who comply with their every wish and command. These are the parents who assert that if their children obey and comply with them, life would be much easier and less stressful. In other words to the overcontrolling parent, his/her children are mere automatons with no mind nor will of their own.

I know of a father who indicated that children do not have an independent thought of their own until they reach 18 years of age. Of course, I thought the father to be quite illogical and preposterous regarding this premise. This father further elaborated that children are not to express any individual opinion until they reach adulthood. He contended that persons under the age of 18 years of age were total nonentities to be molded at will.

Overcontrolling parents naturally contend that THEY know what is best for their children. They assert that their children should follow their teachings unquestioningly. These type of parent feel the most comfortable with a compliant, submissive child who they can easily dominate. A child who is more independent and assertive by nature threatens the sense of autonomy the overcontrolling parent.

Overcontrolling parents stress the paramount importance of blind obedience. They feel that it is quite an affront on their parental authority if they are questioned in any way. They consider children who are of a more independent, questioning, and assertive nature to be "disobedient" and "defiant". These parents subscribe to the paradigm that the proper thing for children to do is to submit to, obey, and never question them ever!

Of course, the overcontrolling parent discourages any type of independent thought that deviates from the family consensus. To this parent, the family is one unit with the parents as the commander while the children are the crew. A child's individuality is viewed as quite deviant by the overcontrolling parent who believes that the family unit should have one groupthink consensus.

The overcontrolling parent usually has one philosophy and believe that his/her child should do the same. He/she is the type of parent who selects his/her children's schools, friends, and activities. He/she wants to have an orderly universe and cohesion and his/her control guarantees it. He/she further purports that if children were allowed to choose their schools, friends, and activities, it could be quite chaotic and haphazard as they do not have the capacity to know what they are doing.

Adolescence and young adulthood does not lessen the rein of the overcontrolling parent. In fact, the overcontrolling parent becomes even more controlling during his/her child's adolescent and young adult period often with quite perilous results. This especially applies if his/her child is of a more independent, adventurous, and assertive nature.

Overcontrolling parents often express dismay and surprise regarding how "difficult" their adolescent and young adult children have become. These parents lament that their children were not what they once were. They have an unrealistic precept that their children are to forever remain submissive and compliant to their authority. What they do not realize that once their children reach adolescence and young adulthood, the latter is asserting the right to be autonomous individuals in their own right.

Many overcontrolling parents are threatened by the fact that their adolescent and young adult children refuse to be controlled as they are no longer children. Their children's adolescent and young adult period is the most daunting period for the overcontrolling parent to face. This is because these parents adamantly insist on asserting their old parenting role instead of realizing that their parenting role must change because their children are becoming adults with their own wishes and dreams.

There are well documented instances of overcontrolling parents who choose their children's colleges, tell them what subjects to major in, and what career they should have. These parents assert that they are doing this to make their children's lives easier and to protect from the pitfalls of having an uncertain future. In other words, these parents wish that their children have as unfettered lives as possible with their help of course.

Overcontrolling parents are actually doing more harm than good to children. Children of overcontrolling parents become risk aversive and overly dependent. They also have poor self-esteem and decision making skills. They become quite anxious and fearful regarding life circumstances. They have poor judgement because they did not develop their decision making skills at a critical point in their lives. They are furthermore unassertive and extremely submissive which causes other stronger people to take advantage of them.

However, there are many children who become quite defiant and rebellious because they had overcontrolling parents. Being constantly reined in by excessive parental authority makes some children quite antiauthoritarian and antiestablishmentarian to say the least. Many children of overcontrolling parents cut off all ties and associations with their parents once they become adults.

In conclusion, overcontrolling parents do not see their children as individuals in their own rights. Instead, these parents view their children as blank automotons to mold to their likeness. The average overcontrolling parent view their children as appendages and subordinates.

Many overcontrolling parents are authoritarian in nature. They believe that the purpose of their children is to unquestioningly obey and comply with their authority. They want children who they can control because it is "easier". They feel threatened by any child who exhibits an independent and assertive nature, considering him/her "disrespectful" , "defiant", and "disobedient". The motto of the average overcontrolling parent is that children should stay in their place and not to make waves so to speak.

The period of their children's adolescence and young adulthood is usually a crux to the overcontrolling parent because the latter want to continue the old parental paradigm instead of changing this paradigm as their children are becoming adults with their own wishes and desires. Children, who have overcontrolling parents, are harmed in various ways. They have poor or none decision making skills. They are often insecure and possess low self-esteem. They are also overly dependent on any type of authority figure, good and/or bad.

However, there are some children who rebel against their overcontrolling parents. These children end up to be quite antiauthoritarian in their outlook. Many children of overcontrolling parents refuse to have anything to do with their parents once they reach adulthood as their child-parent relationship was totally toxic. What overcontrolling parents need to realize is that children are individuals with their own ideas, dreams, and desires who cannot be controlled. In other words, your children are NOT extensions of you but soul inspired entities in their own right!








© 2012 Grace Marguerite Williams

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      The saddest thing about overcontrolling parents, in my opinion, is that their children miss so many opportunities to make decisions and learn from them. Parents have to give kids the chance to fall and fail sometimes--that is how we learn and grow. I want my kids to be individuals who know how to make their own decisions--my job is to give them the tools they need.

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

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

      To kschimmel: You have made some excellent points. Overcontrolling parents believe that their children are not individuals in their own right but blank appendages to mold to their will. Overcontrolling parents view their chidren as inanimate objects to control. These parents want an orderly and easy environment. However, raising children is neither orderly nor easy. At times, it can be quite chaotic.

      The overcontrolling parent is fearful- they want to be totally in charge and want things one narrow way because it is easier. It is easier for these parents to make all the decisions for their children rather to let them take risks and make their own independent decisions which necessitate their growth. Great points, kschimmel. I applaud you heartedly!

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Parents are indeed fearful--24/7 news coverage doesn't help! But we can't live in a risk-free world, so we need to teach kids how to assess and manage risk. Yes, my kids have done some dumb and dangerous things--so did I. I still do sometimes:)

    • smzclark profile image

      smzclark 5 years ago from cheshire

      That was a perfect read! I 100% agree with everything I just read! Well done you. Hopefully a few of the over controlling parents you've written about here will read this and give their children a little room to breathe and the opportunity to think for themselves once in a while. I can't remember whether or not you are a parent, but if you are; you're a good one and your children are going to rock this world!

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

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

      To smzclark: Thank you for your response. FYI, the grown son of the overprotective mother moved out and got his own apartment and a great executive job in an agency!

    • ParentsUnite profile image

      ParentsUnite 5 years ago

      Ok, so when I first read this, I was offended. Then I read this again and again and again. Wow you are so right! While I am usually not the kind of person that can readily or easily admit my wrong due to all of the human emotions (embarrassment mainly), I have reached a stage in life in which I have to own up to my own mistakes.

      Was I an overprotective parent? Yes, in more ways than one. Why was I this way? Fear and fear alone. Fear that someone or something was going to snatch my child up and harm them in some way. With all of the negative news reports on children being abducted, raped, and murdered, I had succumbed to my fear and stifled the growth of my children.

      I now deeply regret it. I have two older children that are having a hard time with life now because my husband and I did not allow them to experience life fully. We have one child that totally dropped out of high school and another struggling in college. We are still a somewhat close family, but the relationship is strained. As they have transitioned into adulthood, I now realize the mistakes and have taken a new approach and have verbally told them that should pursue their own aspirations and dreams. We are proud of them and love them with every fiber of our being. We want the best for them in whatever path they choose.

      We have an 11 year old and our approach to parenting has drastically changed; being overprotective does not work and we learned the hard way.

      So...long story short, thank you for this article. It hit the nail on the head! And all of this coming from someone that was once an overprotective parent.

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

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

      I am so glad to be of help. At least you have acknowledged being an overprotective and overcontrolling parent. You further realized how detrimental this was to your children. However, there are overprotective and overcontrolling parents who harm their children yet blame the children for being infantilized and overly dependent, not realizing their part in the family drama.

    • profile image

      Starmom41 4 years ago

      excellent hub, & more people should read it!

      I currently reside in an area where this term is frequently misused (mainly by the older generations) to claim parents should 'never ever' give their kids ANY rules or ANY limits- & you can probably guess that backfires as much as the examples you've stated.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      I have to say when I hear the criticism about parent’s who spoil their children, I usually tend to agree, but… any day I would rather see a parent spoil a child than neglect one. That’s the same direction I find myself going with your article. Personally, I think that today’s parents aren’t having enough input, influence or responsibility of their children’s lives as opposed to your take on over controlling parents. However, I would rather see a parent have too much control rather than not enough. I would rather see a parent making too many choices for their children and feel the need to be that involved than to stand back and watch a person with no legs try to walk. Yes, children are individuals and they should embrace their individuality…but they aren’t even capable, at the very least due to continuing brain development, to make appropriate decisions for every occasion, cope adequately or fully understand long-term consequences.

      You say over controlling parents … “believe that children are … blank slates that they can control and dictate to.” I don’t think that a lot of parents are over controlling because they feel the need to control but rather they fear what happens if they aren’t assisting their children in their choices.

      As parents we are responsible for “molding” our children into whom they become. If we don’t, they will only find the influences elsewhere. I am a parent myself, and I am a “soft parent” I am very far from being over controlling but it is only because I don’t have the courage. I am the psychological parent; I base everything on reasoning, why we do things, why we should and why we shouldn’t. I know that I can teach my children all of the morals and values they will every need inside of my home, it is what happens when they walk out my door that I know I lose control. When they are exposed to the outside world they are subjected to picking up immoral behavior and poor values. We need to do the molding.

      We do need to respect our children, and I think that respect in general is dying out, but children are in need of our guidance and if we don’t teach them the right way they will grow up to resent us later.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      interesting hub. Over controlling parents are hard to communicate. They tend to think that their controlling rules are right and could keep the kids under their wings. Some may be too wrong about this . Kids could counter attack when they reach adult age. Voted interesting

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 4 years ago

      gmwilliams, You have written a very fine hub, one which coincides nicely with the philosophy of Kahlil Gibran:

      Your children are not your children.

      They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

      They come through you but not from you,

      And though they are with you yet they belong not to you...

    • Simplytrish profile image

      Patricia 4 years ago

      I recently separated from my husband of 17 years because of his controlling ways. I have a 15 year old daughter by him and he left her so sheltered and afraid to enjoy life even now since we left. She fears everyone she does not know and is really in a depression and is afraid to enjoy her own new life because of the opinions of her father. This article comes in handy because I often wonder if his method of raising her was normal thing that fathers do. Thanks for this topic

    • profile image

      Pockets 4 years ago

      I am 55 yrs. old and my parents are over-controlling and now worse than they ever were. They continue to rob me of my self-esteem while they verbally and non-verbally abuse me for not giving them exactly what they want - my total and unquestioning obedience. I refuse to live my life for them, therefore I am garbage in their eyes. They treat me like I am stupid, retarded, brain damaged and they detest my looks. It's like the older I get the younger they expect me to look. I swear they are angry with me for getting wrinkles. Did I say I am 55 yrs. old? They think they are superior to me in every way and often ridicule me. I get physically ill after spending time with them. Please people, do not do this to your children.

    • SharonBallantine profile image

      SharonBallantine 2 years ago

      All children are born with the capacity to learn and grow, but they also have their own talents and preferences. It is our job as parents to help nurture our children so they grow into the best possible version of themselves as possible, not merely a "Mini Me."

      I encourage parents to learn about their Internal Guidance System--which if they had controlling parents they might not have discovered or learned to trust.

      We are all born with an IGS and can learn how to use it. Once we, as parents, know about our IGS we can in turn teach our children how to tap into theirs. This is the best way for them to learn to make their own decisions and to grow into healthy, independent adults.

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

      Grace Marguerite Williams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Sharon, excellent commentary of the situation at hand. Also, excellent knowledge imparted. Thank you so much for adding to the discussion, it is greatly appreciated in kind!

    Click to Rate This Article