No, there is no such thing as loving our kids too much. Parents are encouraged to form a stable and secure attachment to their children, or a “warm and trusting relationship,” by being responsive caregivers.
According to the World Health Organization, responsiveness is characterized by being “prompt, contingent on the child’s behavior, and appropriate to a child’s needs and developmental state.” A responsive mother observes her child’s cues that signal his or her needs, interprets them accurately, and acts quickly to address those needs.
Responsive parenting has many benefits: health and physical development, mental and psychological well-being, and emotional welfare.
The problem, however, occurs when parents start becoming overprotective and over-controlling.
“Helicopter parenting” is a type of parenting style wherein parents are too involved in their child’s life. The term comes from how these moms and dads “hover” over their kids. Helicopter parents are said to dictate and control every aspect of their children’s lives — their home life, social interactions, and school and out-of-school activities.[ads:4]
Many studies and experts have reported the adverse effects of this kind of approach to raising kids. Here are some that can negatively affect a child’s overall well-being:
1. It can cause a child to develop anxiety.
One of the worst effects of overparenting is it can foster anxious behavior in children. Not allowing kids to exercise a certain amount of freedom in play or being quick to coddle or discipline them after a mistake may cause kids to develop anxieties well into their adulthood.
A 2017 international study found that parents who let their child take calculated or “safe” risks actually help their tot avoid growing up with an anxiety disorder. The researchers called this parenting method “challenging parenting behavior” or CPB.
2. It can cause a child to burn out quickly.
Helicopter parenting is often associated with being too strict and overly involved with a child’s education. It can mean putting too much pressure on kids to excel, particularly in academics, or demanding a certain level of perfection from them.[ads:11]
Experts noted that kids who are expected to be the best all the time get burnt out. Even at an early age, children are required to excel academically, be involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities, and thrive in a too competitive environment.
Moms and dads need to remind themselves to let their kids be kids. Set realistic and age-appropriate expectations. Allow them to learn and grow at their own pace, to play and explore their interests, and to feel secure in their ability to think and act.
3. It can cause a child to develop a weaker immune system.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Hygiene is important. Bathing, washing hands properly, making sure food is prepared safely, and drinking clean and potable water are crucial for a person’s health. There is nothing wrong with teaching a child good hygiene habits.[ads:15]
However, parents should learn to differentiate protecting their kids from infectious diseases versus not allowing them to be exposed to “every day” microbes. According to an expert, kids are born with an underdeveloped immune system that uses encounters with these generally harmless microbes to “train” the immune cells.
The research explains that when kids are exposed to these microbes at a young age, they are less likely to develop asthma, allergies, and other illnesses such as heart disease. So, yes, it is still okay to let kids play and explore, possibly in the yard or garden.
Balancing good hygiene habits and a level of free play is vital.
There is obviously nothing wrong with loving our children. As parents, it’s our right and privilege to do so. What’s important is making sure we keep the balance, giving them a healthy amount of space and freedom to live, learn, and grow.
Watch this video to know more:
As you support your toddlers’ and preschoolers’ growth and development through a healthy amount of play, remember to partner their balanced diet with growing-up milk such as NIDO 3+ and NIDO 5+.
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These products are also packed with essential nutrients such as DHA, LA, and ALA for the brain; PREBIO3® fiber to support healthy digestion, and other essential vitamins and minerals that help children’s overall growth and development (vitamins A, B, C, D, E, iron, selenium, and zinc).[ads:24]
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