Reference has been made to “The Age of Overparenting” and admittedly I am not sure what practices this is referring to.
The term itself does concern me. In an age where activities, school and media disconnect us from our instincts and children, I fear that we will be further confused by thinking that we “coddle” our children too much-that we over love them.
Maybe even, that we are “spoiling” them.
But really, how can we “overparent” our children? We can overschedule their activities, overfeed them, and overlook them, but “overparent” them? It does not seem possible to me.
Maybe this term means that we are overly involved in their lives. That though, would be nosy, not overparenting.
Perhaps it suggests that we are providing too much physical affection. But, that is impossible.
I guess the term could mean that too often we are caught starry-eyed gazing, basking in the love that we feel for this beautiful and wonderful being. Busted while thanking God that He thought us worthy enough to raise this, our beautiful child.
No, I do not believe that it is possible to “overparent” your children. To listen to them too much, laugh with them too often or over-encourage them when they need it.
Because it seems like parenting your children means that you know when they need encouragement, and when too much encouragement would simply be inflating an artificial ego.
And we certainly cannot make our children feel better more often than they need it.
It seems to me that really parenting your child means keeping them safe. Not keeping them in a protective sheath or bubble. And knowing your child well enough to know which you are doing.
That a parented child feels genuine love and respect from their parents, and that they can trust their mom and dad to teach them appropriate boundaries. And is there a way to “over”do this?
It seems to me that when we spend enough time with our children to know them well, there is very little risk of “overparenting” them. We will know that ballet is just too much for them, and that really, they do hate piano lessons.
When we have allowed ourself to be completely open to falling head over heels in love with our children, we want to remove unnecessary negativity, because we know that enough tough stuff comes from other places.
And that appropriately assisting them with challenges will strengthen them and make them intuitively compassionate, not cause them to lack fortitude and coping mechanisms.
If we permit ourselves to invest fully in our child, we trust ourselves, and we do not have to wonder if we should have made them honor their commitment to stay at a sleepover even though they were scared.
Overparenting is not something that I am worried about because I do not believe it exists. All of the other stuff we will struggle with, and will try to find the right balance for our family.
But too much love is not corny, it is just not possible.
Have I missed something? Do you think it is possible to overparent? Is the term confusing?