Parents' excessive concern about keeping children safe

One of our concerns as parents is that nothing happens to our children, keep them safe from any danger and make them happy. A normal concern, but one that in excess can have repercussions on the development of our children. This is what happens when parents are overly concerned about keeping their children safe.

With parents it is difficult to control the primary impulse to keep our children safe, but one thing we have to keep in mind is that on the one hand we cannot absolutely control everything around children, and on the other, that children have to learn to solve the problems they may encounter in their day to dayIn other words, they have to acquire tools that allow them to develop autonomously.

One of the risks we run when we worry excessively is sending the message to children that the world is a hostile environment full of dangers. If we also fear the tendency to avoid any risk to them, we indirectly tell them that we do not believe that they are capable of defending themselves against those dangers.

This concern does not have to do only with physical risks, (that they fall, that something happens to them being alone, that they cross the street and they can be run over ...) but also with more psychological risks, (make a mistake, make a decision wrong, etc).

Indeed, in the world we live in, there are risks and dangers, for children and adults, and our mission as parents is to educate our children so that they are capable of defending themselves and solving situations for themselves. In a certain way, this excessive worry is a form of overprotection, and overprotection has negative effects on children, which will affect the future development of their children, such as low tolerance for frustration or children developing excessive concern for everything and fears that go beyond the purely evolutionary.

Overprotection can become an excess of control by parents, so that we make decisions for them or do tasks for them (for fear that they make mistakes and suffer), or on the contrary we do not let them perform certain tasks or activities, (go to school alone in case something happens to them). This excess of control affects the development of the children in several ways:

- They do not develop adequate self-confidence, since the message they receive is that they "cannot" or "are not capable of"

- They have a low tolerance for frustration, as they do not have the experience to deal with this basic emotion.

- They are not very autonomous in their tasks or in tasks typical of their age.

- They may develop excessive fear or anxiety in everyday situations, (being alone, the dark, etc ...). They may experience separation from parents as a danger, since their security figure is not there.

The fundamental role of parents will be to teach their children to face dangers and risks, to the consequences of bad decisions, to be autonomous and independent, etc. For this reason, on many occasions, we will have to stop this "instinct" and let them do it alone. The best we can do for them is to give them tools so that they can function in the world, that they know the risks that exist at each age and stage, and that they know how to face them, and make appropriate decisions.

It is important therefore:

- Show them that we trust them. Instead of not letting them do it, help them get up and be by their side, supervising, but not controlling.

- Give them autonomy, according to their age.

- Try not to convey the idea that the world is hostile, but to teach them that the dangers and risks are there and how to deal with them. Avoid expressions such as "be careful that you fall", "you are going to hurt yourself" "you will not be able to", or "I already do that you can hurt yourself",

- Help them make decisions, and to take responsibility for them.

- Do not avoid situations or experiences, for fear that something may happen to them or they may suffer. Of course, it is not about exposing them to dangerous situations, but neither is it about living in a bubble.

- Do not transmit our fears to our children.

If we want our children to be autonomous, self-reliant, self-confident, and above all happy adults, we have to take all this into account, and put a stop to our paternal instincts to protect our children from everything.

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Video: 25 Important Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know To Keep Their Child Safe (January 2022).