People who were overparented as children usually grow up to have these behaviors

Overparenting is a phenomenon that’s becoming increasingly common, and it can have a profound impact on how children grow up.

When parents overprotect or micromanage their kids, it can stifle their independence and decision-making skills. These children often grow up into adults who exhibit certain characteristic behaviors.

In this article, I’m going to explore some of those behaviors that are typically associated with people who were overparented as kids. With insight, understanding, and a bit of reflection, we can begin to unravel the effects of overparenting on adults.

So stick with me as we delve into the world of helicopter parenting and its long-term consequences.

1) Difficulty making decisions

Overparenting often involves making all the decisions for a child, and this can follow them into adulthood.

When parents constantly make choices for their children, it doesn’t allow them to develop their own decision-making skills. As a result, these adults may find it challenging to make even the simplest decisions without feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

Take a moment to picture this. You’re at a restaurant with a friend who was overparented as a child, and they’re struggling to decide what to order. They might ask you several times for your opinion because they’re used to having someone else make decisions for them.

This behavior isn’t about being indecisive or fickle. It’s about not having been given the opportunity to practice making decisions and learning from potential mistakes during their childhood.

This is just one of the behaviors that can stem from overparenting. But like every behavior, understanding its origin is the first step towards change.

2) Seeking constant validation

Growing up with overbearing parents often results in a need for external validation. This is something I can speak to from personal experience.

My parents were always there to praise my achievements – even the smallest ones. Initially, this seemed great. But as I grew older, I realized that I was dependent on their approval to feel successful or worthy.

In high school, if I didn’t get an ‘A’ on a test, I felt like a failure. Not because I thought I had performed poorly, but because I was scared of letting my parents down. Their expectations had become my own, and I was constantly seeking their validation.

As an adult, this translated into me doubting my abilities and always seeking approval from others. It took me a while to recognize this pattern and start working on self-validation.

If you’re always looking for approval or validation from others, it might be a sign you were overparented. It’s important to remember that your worth is not determined by other people’s opinions or expectations but by your own values and aspirations.

3) Fear of risk-taking

One of the hallmark traits of overparented individuals is a heightened fear of risk-taking. This can manifest in various aspects of their lives, including their career choices, relationships, and even mundane daily tasks.

When parents constantly step in to prevent their children from facing any form of risk or failure, these children grow up perceiving the world as a dangerous place. This can lead to a tendency to stick to safe and familiar paths, and an avoidance of any situation that might involve uncertainty or potential failure.

Children who are allowed to take risks have better problem-solving skills than those who are not. This is because taking risks and making mistakes is an integral part of learning and development. So next time you find yourself shying away from taking a risk, remember that it’s okay to make mistakes – they’re stepping stones on the path of growth.

4) Struggle with failure

Another common trait among individuals who were overparented is a deep-seated fear of failure. This fear often stems from parents who stepped in to fix problems or shield their child from the consequences of their actions.

Imagine growing up in a bubble where your parents ensured you never failed. Now, as an adult, every minor setback feels like a catastrophe. You may find yourself avoiding situations where there’s a chance you might fail because you never learned how to cope with failure as a child.

Failure is an inevitable part of life, and learning to handle it is crucial. It’s through our failures that we learn, grow, and become more resilient. If you were overparented and struggle with failure, remember that it’s okay to stumble – what matters most is how you pick yourself back up.

5) Over-reliance on parents

Overparented individuals often have an excessive reliance on their parents, even into adulthood. This is not surprising as overparenting usually involves parents taking care of every aspect of their child’s life.

For example, you might find yourself calling your parents for advice on everything – from what to wear for a job interview, to how to cook a simple meal. While it’s perfectly normal to seek parental advice from time to time, over-reliance could mean struggling to make decisions without their input.

It’s essential to understand that becoming self-reliant is a significant step towards maturity. It’s about learning to trust your judgment and learning from your experiences. If you were overparented and find yourself constantly relying on your parents, it might be time to start practicing making decisions on your own and trusting in your abilities.

6) Lack of self-confidence

Overparenting can often lead to a lack of self-confidence. This is incredibly heartbreaking because these individuals may never get to realize their full potential due to the self-doubt instilled in them from a young age.

Imagine always having someone hovering over you, correcting your every move, and never allowing you to figure things out on your own. This can lead to a feeling that you are not capable or competent enough to handle life’s challenges without assistance.

This lack of self-confidence can hold you back in many areas of your life, from your career to your personal relationships. It’s important to remember that everyone is capable of growth and improvement. You are more resilient and competent than you think.

So, if you were overparented and struggle with self-confidence, it’s time to challenge those self-doubts. Start small, celebrate your victories, and remember that it’s okay not to be perfect. We’re all works in progress, after all.

7) Difficulty in setting boundaries

When your parents are involved in every aspect of your life, boundaries can become blurred. This was a struggle I faced for many years.

Growing up, my parents had their say in everything – from my choice of friends to my study habits. As an adult, this translated into me having difficulty saying ‘no’ to people and asserting my needs.

I found myself constantly prioritizing others’ needs over my own, out of fear of disappointing them or causing conflict. It took a lot of self-reflection and courage to start setting healthy boundaries.

Setting boundaries is a crucial part of any relationship, and it’s perfectly okay to assert your needs and wants. If you were overparented and struggle with boundary-setting, remember that your needs are important too, and it’s okay to put yourself first sometimes.

8) Perfectionism

Overparented individuals often struggle with perfectionism. This is because they’ve been brought up in an environment where mistakes were not tolerated, and only the best was good enough.

This can lead to a constant striving for perfection in all areas of life – from work to relationships, and personal projects. You might find yourself feeling anxious or stressed if you can’t meet the high standards you’ve set for yourself.

While striving for excellence is not a bad thing, it’s important to remember that nobody’s perfect. Mistakes are a part of being human and they provide valuable learning opportunities. If you were overparented and struggle with perfectionism, try to be more forgiving towards yourself when things don’t go as planned. After all, we’re all perfectly imperfect.

9) Difficulty forming close relationships

Finally, one of the most significant impacts of overparenting is the difficulty in forming close, meaningful relationships. This stems from a combination of previous points – the fear of failure, lack of self-confidence, and difficulty setting boundaries.

When you’re used to having your parents make decisions for you and protect you from any potential harm, it can be challenging to navigate the vulnerability that comes with forming deep connections with others. You might find that you either cling to relationships out of fear of being alone or push people away to avoid potential hurt.

But remember this: forming deep, meaningful connections is a fundamental part of the human experience. It might feel scary and unfamiliar, but it’s a journey worth taking. So take your time, be patient with yourself, and remember that relationship-building is a skill that can be learned over time.

Final thoughts: It’s about understanding and growth

The complex web of human behavior is deeply intertwined with our upbringing and early life experiences.

Overparenting, like many other parenting styles, leaves a distinct imprint on an individual’s behavior patterns. These imprints, while they can be challenging, are not indelible marks on one’s personality.

Perhaps you’ve identified with some of the behaviors discussed in this article. Maybe you’ve recognized them in someone you know. Either way, understanding is the first step towards change and growth.

Remember, it’s never about blaming parents or oneself. It’s about acknowledging what was, understanding how it has shaped who you are today, and recognizing that you have the power to steer your life in the direction you want.

Whether it’s learning to make decisions independently, setting personal boundaries, or embracing failure as a part of life – it’s all a journey towards becoming a more self-aware and resilient individual.

Life is a constant journey of learning and unlearning. As American psychologist Carl R. Rogers once said, “The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” So keep moving forward, keep growing, and remember – it’s your journey to make.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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