All moms fret or try to console their child when they are upset; it’s totally normal to feel the urge to want to give the little one a kiss on the knee after putting on a band-aid due to the fact that their coordination wasn’t the best on a skateboard the first time they tried to use it. It’s when mothers go overboard and do things like hiding the skateboard away in some dark recess of the garage that there is a problem.
Inc points out that while overprotective moms might help their child in the short term, their helicopter style of parenting can lead to issues that will follow their child into adulthood.
For example, some studies have shown that children with overprotective parents often lack the skills they need for self-regulation and they often struggle with feeling entitled to things as well.
Healthy Mummy adds that other studies have shown that children of helicopter moms often don’t have the emotional resilience that they need to succeed in life, which could set them back as they grow up and enter high school.
For moms wondering if they are being too overprotective of their child, this list will help them narrow down if they need to land the helicopter or if they are on the right track with their parenting method.
20 Cutting A Child's Food Even When They Are Older
Motherly points out that over-protective moms have a tendency to cut up their child’s food for every single meal—even if they are at a relative’s house or going out to eat at a restaurant.
This is to be expected if a child is young and does not have full control of his or her fine motor skills just yet. But once they reach a certain age, mom does not need to cut their meal into tiny little pieces just because she is worried that they will wind up having an accident or cut their food into too big of a piece for them to eat.
19 Holding Their Hand When They Cross The Street After A Certain Age
Motherly points out that it is perfectly fine for moms to want to hold their toddler’s hand when they cross the street because children that age have poor impulse control and are still learning about polite sidewalk etiquette.
However, it’s quite another thing to do so after a child reaches a certain age.
By the time a child turns nine or 10, they have a better awareness of their surroundings and can be trusted to walk by their mom’s side when crossing the street. They really don’t need their mom to embarrass them by grabbing their hand as if they are five years old.
18 You Automatically Assume A Cold Is Something Else
Motherly writes that it’s perfectly natural to be worried about your child if you hear them start to sneeze several times during the course of the day and start fretting that they are coming down with an unpleasant cold.
Just try not to go too overboard and start consulting medical websites because you heard from Dr. Google that there could be more to your child’s common sniffles than just a cold.
Nine times out of 10, it’s best to just wait it out until you can see how your child feels the next day and simply make an appointment with their pediatrician should they still be sneezing without any relief from antihistamines or nasal sprays.
17 Constantly Meeting With Teachers And The Principal
Essential Kids notes that while moms should do their best to stay in contact and on good terms with their child’s teacher and principal, it’s not cool to go overboard and constantly reach out to them in order to resolve what is a minor issue in reality.
Instead of trying to get the higher-ups such as the principal involved for the fixing of a minor issue, overprotective moms would do better to take a deep breathe and help their child learn how to navigate their own issues so that they won’t be at such a disadvantage and possibly even become immature as they grow up.
16 Tempers Flare If Someone Is Unkind To Your Child
Parents are naturally protective over their children, but Motherly warns that the overprotective moms that go full Daenerys Targaryen on you if you so much as breathe on them the wrong way are going way too far.
There’s a time when unleashing your inner momma bear is appropriate, such as during a serious situation that is occurring at school between your child and their peers. But if another child goes in front of your son or daughter in front of the ice cream truck, be like Elsa and let that anger go. It’s not worth losing your voice, trust me.
15 You Constantly Make Them Check In With You
Very Well Family notes that it is not healthy to constantly want to your child to check in with you every hour, on the hour when they are out and about hanging out with their friends.
My childhood best friend’s mother was pretty overprotective and she would have a total meltdown if my buddy didn’t call her almost every two hours in order to check in.
This even occurred when my friend and I were relaxing watching Disney movies at my house and she knew that my parents were home. She was such a helicopter mom that this behavior only stopped when my friend went to college upstate.
14 Attempting To Keep Your Child From Making A Blunder
Look, no one likes making a blunder. It’s a fact of life and let’s face it—kids are going to mess up at some things a few times in their lives.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing; instead, it teaches them how to bounce back and move forward with their plans, even if they have to employ a new strategy instead.
Very Well Family adds that overprotective mothers are so preoccupied with their misplaced worries about how their child will handle making a mistake, that they often try to keep them from messing up. For the love of Pete, don’t do that. Let them make mistakes so that they can learn from them. They’ll be a better person because of it.
13 Micromanaging Their Entire Life
Very Well Family points out that there is a fine line between helping your child schedule activities, assisting them in juggling school, extracurricular, homework... and micromanaging their entire existence to the max.
The latter option is not good because it doesn’t allow your child to find his or her own identity.
Ruling over your child’s life with an iron fist means that he or she might be stuck playing a sport that they do not like when they would rather take art lessons or go to the local stables in order to take horseback riding lessons.
12 Your Child Doesn't Know The Meaning Of The Word Responsibility
Very Well Family adds that it is important for moms to teach their children how to take responsibility for their actions lest they grow up to be incredibly immature and a total bore to be around.
Sure, it is tempting to try and let your little one glide through life on a gilded throne. But if you do that, then there is a good chance that they won’t learn the valuable skills that they’re going to need as an adult if you keep them away from learning how to take responsibility for their actions.
11 You Are Overly Consoling
No one likes seeing their child upset and some moms will try to give their little one a special treat in order to cheer them up. After I had to get my tonsils taken out when I was eight years old, my mom and dad took me to get a slice of pizza and some ice cream as a nice surprise once I was able to eat solid food again.
According to Very Well Family, there are moms out there that go overboard with the gifts and special treats when it comes time to consoling their child every time a minor incident happens, such as a scraped knee from a bicycle or a rollerblading blunder. Soothe them and give them a band-aid sure, but there’s no need to buy them an expensive toy to heal their ills.
10 Constantly Fretting Over Them
Very Well Family points out that even the clingiest child is going to get irritated with an overprotective mom that keeps fussing over them and keeps trying to tell them what not to do in the long run.
Being too negative and constantly keeping a close eye on your child, even when they are at home watching a Disney movie or quietly playing with their Barbie dolls is going to make them pretty exasperated and they’re going to learn to tune you out because you are always fussing over them.
It’s best to use positive reinforcement instead of yelling out “Don’t do this” or something along those lines every five minutes.
9 You Try To Keep Them From Branching Out
Very Well Family adds that overprotective mothers have a tendency to try and keep their child from branching out. For example, your little one might want to take up horseback riding lessons at the local stable but you veto their suggestion and sign them up for soccer instead because you know that they have great hand-eye coordination and would excel at the sport.
It’s okay to let your child try new activities, even if he or she isn’t exactly the best at them. Let them branch out and try different things because that is how they will figure out what they’re good at and what they do not like.
8 You Try To Shield Your Child From The Realities Of Life
As adults, we all read the headlines and we all know that the world isn’t filled with sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.
Heck, I often joke that my dog needs a thundershirt to help her stay calm during a thunderstorm and I need to wear one whenever I try to watch the news for longer than five minutes.
Very Well Family writes that while it’s tempting for moms to want to shield their child from the realities at life, it’s not going to do them any good in the long run. You don’t have to make them too jaded, but it’s a good idea to prepare them for the real world by teaching them age-appropriate ways on how to be street smart.
7 Your Child Never Has To Solve Their Own Problems
Essential Kids warns that another sign of being an overprotective mom is when you try to keep your child from solving any problems.
The minute things go south is when you step in faster than Barry Allen running off to fight Professor Zoom in order to keep your child from feeling any kind of discomfort.
It’s one thing to give gentle advice and guidance, but children need to learn how to solve their own problems. You won’t always be able to be at their side as they get older and potentially go off to college, so it’s not fair to try and keep them from learning through experience.
6 Children Are Given No Chores To Perform
Look, no kid likes to do chores once they get to a certain age and they’ll always complain about how hard it is to complete them. My job when I was growing up was to take the laundry basket upstairs from the basement and fold the clothes on my parents’ bed. It was a task I didn’t really like because I would have much rather have been watching The Little Mermaid or playing outside in the backyard, but my parents gave me no choice.
Very Well Family points out that giving a child age-appropriate chores teaches your little one from a young age that everyone has to pitch in their fair share as well as important life skills they’ll need when they are an adult and living out on their own, so overprotective moms shouldn’t try to clean their child’s room up themselves because it is “faster.”
5 Privacy Is Not A Word In Your Vocabulary
Essential Kids warns overprotective mothers that it is not a good idea to be so intrusive with your children because everyone, no matter their age, has the right to have an inner world they can retreat to and keep certain things to themselves.
You don’t need to know every last detail of their lives; let them be.
My mother was pretty nosy when I was growing up, and once read my diary when I was a little girl. I was really upset because even as a kid I was more of an introvert and I needed a place to discuss age-appropriate questions to myself or decompress without prying eyes trying to observe my every thought.
4 You Keep A Child In A Safe Bubble At Parks
Romper points out that you can almost always figure out who is a helicopter mom by using simple observational skills: they are the ones who are constantly following their child around and gasping when they engage in risky behavior, such as trying the monkey bars.
My mother was more of a hoverer than my father; my dad had no qualms about letting me climb to the top of the monkey bars or jump off of the highest platform when I was playing hide-and-go-seek with my friends.
Needless to say, I always looked forward to when he’d take me to the park on the weekends as a little girl because he allowed me to have a lot more freedom at that age than my mom did.
3 Constantly Purchase Presents For Your Child
I won’t lie, I had a lot of toys when I was growing up because my parents were fairly lax about letting me purchase the Barbie doll I wanted or taking me to McDonald's so that I could get the Power Ranger Morphing coin that came with the latest Happy Meal.
Still, as lax as they were when it came to buying toys, it was always in moderation and they made sure to let me know it had to be under a certain amount.
Very Well Family points out that it’s good to treat your child to a new toy from time to time, especially if they had a high achievement such as getting good marks on their report card, but some overprotective moms take it too far by spoiling their child and buying them a new toy every week.
2 You Always Help Your Child With School Projects
Family Education warns that while it might be tempting for overprotective moms to want to finish their child’s project for school because they don’t want to let them finish it themselves and wind up getting an earful from their teacher the next day as a result of not meeting the requirements, that impulse needs to be squashed.
Children have to learn how to complete their own projects or they are never going to succeed in school. In high school, my dad helped me construct an ancient Egyptian temple for history class, but I was the one who designed it and went through the trouble of not only painting it but also grabbing old figurines from my sister’s toy chest and making priestly robes for them as an extra touch of authenticity.
1 Your Child Doesn't Know How To Study On Their Own
Family Education notes that it is normal for moms to want to help their children study for a big test the first few years of their life, but after a certain age, they should really know the ins and outs of preparing for a test on their own.
When overprotective moms help their child prepare for a test or a quiz that is coming up that week after a certain age, it’s a hindrance because your child will never learn how to do this for themselves.
If they ever go to college, they will be at a major disadvantage compared to their peers.