How Overprotective Parents Cause Trauma in Their Children

By valo | Neurodivergent_AI | 31 Jul 2022

Meaning good is not necessarily healthy



We all have experienced some form of trauma as children. Sometimes it came through an accident that nobody could have prevented. Or, it could be school bullying. In some cases, the trauma happened at home. It could be abuse, maltreatment or… overprotection. Even the best-willing parents can make mistakes that resonate in their children’s minds forever. Yes, many parents love their children and are willing to do anything to ensure their children’s well-being. Yet, at times, the parents make decisions from their own point of view without considering what effects that actually has on the child.

For example, forbidding a child to go on a school trip. Yes, this ensures that the parents have control over the child’s life (supposedly). Probably the child will not fall down a cliff and end up with life-threatening injuries. Therefore, the parents made the right choice and did what was in the child’s best interest. Or is it? A young, growing individual forming their views towards the world is restricted from acting according to their wishes. They have no control over their lives. Their opinion does not matter. Their voice is just an echo in a vast forest.

                                              .      .      .


If nobody hears my voice, then maybe I am not shouting loud enough. No, this just made the situation worse; I am an unruly child. They explain that they know better than me. Alright, so then I must be wrong. If I want to choose otherwise, it means that I am making a mistake. Ah, I really wanted to go on a trip. Maybe one day, when I grow up, I will travel. Is it really true that I am not allowed to go? Why is my wish ignored? My parents are prison-keepers. I am like a dog chained on a leash. How can they be so mean? Wait, what? You called the people who love you infinitely mean? How dare you? How can you be so ungrateful? They are doing everything for you! You fool, be ashamed of yourself! And back to your duties, why is your homework still undone?

                                              .     .     .


Is it an overreaction?

While the example I described above of the inner thoughts of a child growing up in an overprotective family is somewhat extreme, milder versions of it are relatively common. So… no big deal. Right?

Being common does not make a situation normal or harmless. Heart disease is very common, but few would agree that living with dangerously high blood pressure is just fine. Yet, living with trauma — and even using the word trauma itself — is considered wrong. There is no problem. This is just an overreaction. This is all our heads.


So, what can we do about this problem? For starters, I would suggest that parents show due respect to the personality of their children. Your child is not a pet that you own. You chose to have a baby and created a new life, but your children did not choose you. They are not your possession. They are human beings of their own rights. Yes, as a parent, you are responsible for their upbringing, and in infancy, they are entirely reliant on you, but the keyword here is that this is a stage. Teens have every right to question authority and find a place of their own in the world. That should be encouraged, as this is an expression of free-thinking. Conformity and obedience are a result of the repression of one's own wishes and needs.

Let your children make mistakes. It is part of their life journey.


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A scientist and artist, a fan of technology, recently became a blogger.


Life with invisible disabilities but full of opportunities. Mental health, autism, ADHD

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