Are You a Paranoid Parent?
Paranoia - a constant feeling of fear and negativity that something wrong will happen. Many parents these days live with this feeling and end up in what we call paranoid parenting. Parents tend to create an overprotective shield around child where the child is constantly under parental supervision, vigilance, guidance and protection. Typical symptoms of a paranoid parent are:
- Always Worried
- Separation Anxiety
- Having trouble trusting and working with other care takers
- Become socially detached and isolated
- Always in defensive mode about their child
- Having trouble relaxing
- Being quick to react
- Get angry easily
- Be hypersensitive
Paranoid parents prefer to live in a hypothetical world where fear rules and positivity has little place. They choose to accompany their child everywhere like birthday parties, play areas, walk to school because they don’t find bus as a safe option and refuse to trust even the teachers. These parents bound their kids by rules and get angry if the child breaks these rules. They tend to restrict children in many ways. This culture of fear makes a negative impact on child’s development. Parents often feel they are protecting their child and trying to keep them safe but fail to realise that a child will eventually grow into an individual adult in the same world from which they are trying to protect them.
How does Paranoid Parenting affect Child’s Development?
- There have been evidences that children have had severe issues dealing with every day events of life just because they were bought up in an over protective environment and lacked life skills.
- Parent’s fear can instill a sense of fear in child. This will make the child feel unsafe when away from parent.
- Since the parent fails to trust other care takers, the child is unable to develop that trust either. This affects a child’s social and emotional development.
- Since the child is under constant protection, he/she is unable to face and resolve conflicts on his own. This results in low self esteem and emotional conflict.
- In lieu of being over protective, parents often show sympathy for every smallest thing and end up over pampering them. This makes the child more demanding, selfish and self-centered affecting his social skills and life skills.
- A constant protective shield results in a week child. The child is unable to face failures, has very low tolerance and becomes either too aggressive or too introvert.
- As the child grows older, he/she may not like the parent being accompanied everywhere. This can create conflicts and result in loss of trust between child and parent. Child will end up speaking lies under peer pressure. The confusion of striking a balance between a parent and peer can put the child in depression.
Tips for Paranoid Parents
- While you might find the world an unsafe place for your child, it is also the world which has lots of positivity and happiness to offer to your child. Give him/her his freedom to explore this world.
- Unless you let your child face situations, fail and experience a little negativity, he/she will never learn how to overcome these fears and failures. Resolving conflicts and being defensive are much required in this world to survive.
- Make your child strong and independent. Be his/her back to guide and support but do not draw the road map all the time. This will help the child develop his/her problem solving skills.
- Do not enforce your fear on your child. Give your child enough free time away from your shield, that will let him/her make mistakes and learn from the same. Keep your child in confidence and not under vigilance. Adult supervision should always be from a healthy distance.
- While you are the primary care giver of your child, never forget that society plays an equally important role in your child’s upbringing. So trust people and work with your positive instincts.
When a child is born, a parent is born too. Paranoid Parenting can begin at a very early stage and eventually becomes a style of parenting. While a parent is completely responsible for bringing up his/her child, one must not forget that a child has to grow up to become an independent human being. Hence groom a child to live in the world where he/she is born and not away from the world.
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