Parenting is a life-changing experience. A parent’s outlook towards life changes when an infant comes into their life. Perhaps, for the first time, they learn to love someone unconditionally. And this love for their child only deepens with time. And that is probably why parents often find it hard to let go of their children’s hands even after they have grown up.
It is natural for parents to be protective of their children. But a parent could easily go overboard and become overprotective. Take the movie College Road Trip for instance. The protagonist James Porter (played by Martin Lawrence) is over-protective of his daughter Melanie Porter (portrayed by Raven-Symoné). Even though Melanie is a smart, intelligent girl, James feels uneasy when she expresses her desire to study in a college far away. He still sees her as his little girl and insists on enrolling her in a college closer to home.
Of course, no parent wants to deliberately inhibit their child’s freedom. Why then, do parents become overprotective? Overprotective nature, many a time, stems from worries. Graphic designer and mother of a six-year-old, Nayana PV, constantly worries about her daughter, even when she is at school. “The media often projects the world as a dangerous place and it worries me that even schools are not completely safe anymore. I know I should not worry too much, but I can’t help it,” she shares.
The ‘big-bad-world out there’ is just one of the many reasons why parents become anxious and therefore, overprotective. Child neuropsychologist Akila Sadasivan explains there are many other causes for this nature. She says, “If a couple feels insecure in their relationship because of marital discord, then they are likely to make their children the centre of attention. Such parents could become overprotective. Overprotectiveness could also stem from a parent’s worries about their child’s health condition.”
Parenting certainly seems to be a balancing act. On one hand, a parent ought to give children love and protection. On the other hand, they cannot afford to go overboard either.