9 signs you were overly coddled as a child, according to psychology

All psychologists agree that our upbringing shapes us into the adults we become.

One thing that has a significant impact on us is being excessively pampered or coddled as a child.

Over-coddling happens when parents, with all their good intentions, end up providing excessive comfort, protection and assistance to their child. This can unintentionally result in an adult who lacks self-sufficiency, struggles with independence, and possibly has a distorted sense of entitlement.

According to psychology, there are numerous signs that may indicate you were overly coddled as a child.

This article will guide you through 9 of these signs, so you can gain a better understanding of your own behaviour and its roots. It’s important to remember that this is not about blaming parents or caregivers but about understanding ourselves better to grow and improve.

1) Difficulty with decision-making

Having trouble making decisions, particularly the simple everyday ones, is a common sign of being overly coddled as a child.

You might find yourself constantly seeking other people’s opinions before making a choice.

Even when it comes to trivial matters like what to wear or what to eat, you might feel an overwhelming sense of indecision.

This could largely be because as a child, you were rarely given the chance to make decisions for yourself. Your parents made most of your choices for you – from the clothes you wore, the food you ate to the friends you hung out with.

As an adult, this translates into a struggle with decision-making.

You could find yourself second-guessing your choices or facing anxiety over the potential consequences. This is because you were never allowed to naturally learn from your mistakes through decision-making as a child.

2) Struggling with failure

The fear of failure or messing up can be paralyzing, especially if you were overly coddled as a child.

When parents excessively shield their children from the consequences of their actions, they inadvertently breed fear of failure.

You might find yourself avoiding situations where there’s even a slight risk of not being successful. This is because you were protected from failure as a child and thus, you never developed the skills to cope with setbacks.

Experiencing failure is crucial for personal growth. Without it, you may struggle to take risks and step out of your comfort zone.

Therefore, an irrational fear of failure could be a sign that you were overly coddled as a child.

3) Overconfidence

Interestingly, being overly confident or having an inflated sense of self-worth can also be a sign of being overly coddled as a child.

Parents who over-coddle often shower their children with excessive praise and validation, regardless of their actions. This could lead to an inflated sense of self-importance in the child.

As an adult, you might find yourself expecting special treatment or believing that you are superior to others in some way. You may also struggle to accept constructive criticism or feedback, viewing it as a personal attack rather than a chance for improvement.

While confidence is generally seen as a positive trait, overconfidence where it isn’t merited can lead to strained relationships and hinder personal growth.

4) Dependency on others

Let’s be brutally honest here. If you find yourself overly reliant on others for emotional support, decision-making, or even basic tasks, it might be because you were overly coddled as a child.

Parents who overly coddle their children often inadvertently create a dependency that extends into adulthood. That’s because, as a child, you were probably always assured that someone would be there to take care of things for you.

Now, as an adult, this manifests as a constant need for reassurance from others. You might struggle to complete tasks on your own, constantly seeking someone else to share the responsibility.

It’s a tough cycle to break, but recognizing this dependency is the first step towards cultivating self-reliance and independence.

5) Low frustration tolerance

It’s completely okay if you find yourself easily overwhelmed by minor inconveniences or setbacks. This could be another sign that you were overly coddled as a child.

When parents are always at the ready to solve their child’s problems, the child never learns how to effectively manage frustration.

As an adult, this may translate into a low tolerance for discomfort or frustration. You might find it difficult to handle situations that deviate from your expectations, even slightly.

Please remember, it’s not your fault. Your emotional responses were shaped by your experiences growing up.

Recognizing this can be an important step towards building resilience and improving emotional regulation.

6) Struggle with adulting

Does the thought of ‘adulting’ – managing bills, doing laundry, setting up appointments, scare you?

You’re not alone. This struggle can be a sign of being overly coddled as a child.

When parents take over every responsibility and don’t allow their children to participate in everyday chores, they unintentionally create adults who find these tasks daunting.

As a result, you might find yourself avoiding such tasks or feeling overwhelmed when you have to tackle them.

Rest assured, it’s something many of us face and it’s never too late to learn these skills and embrace our adult responsibilities.

7) Master negotiator

Ever noticed that you have a knack for negotiating your way out of situations? Maybe it’s because you were overly coddled as a child.

Growing up, your parents may have given in to your demands easily, teaching you that negotiation and persuasion can get you what you want.

So now, whether it’s making a case for why you should have the bigger office at work or convincing your roommate to do the dishes tonight, you’ve become a master negotiator.

Hey, on the bright side, this is a skill that can come in handy in many aspects of life. So while it may be a sign of being overly coddled, it’s not all bad news!

8) Trouble taking responsibility

Alright, it’s time for some tough love. If you often find yourself shifting blame or avoiding responsibility for your actions, it’s a glaring sign of being overly coddled as a child.

Parents who excessively coddle their kids tend to shield them from the consequences of their actions. This can result in adults who struggle to own up to their mistakes.

As adults, it’s essential for us to take responsibility for our actions and face the consequences. It’s not always pleasant, but it’s a vital part of personal growth and development.

So, if this sounds like you, it might be time to start holding yourself accountable.

9) Lack of self-confidence

The most important thing to remember is that being overly coddled as a child can often result in a lack of self-confidence as an adult.

Even though you might have been showered with praise and affection, this might not have allowed you to develop a genuine sense of self-worth. You might have grown accustomed to external validation and now struggle to believe in your own capabilities.

Building self-confidence is a lifelong journey, but recognizing its absence is the first step.

Remember, your worth is not determined by what others think of you, but by your own perception of yourself. It’s time to start believing in your own abilities and strengths.

Wrapping it up

Reflecting on these signs, you may have recognized some patterns from your own childhood.

If so, know that it’s not about blaming or feeling guilt, but about understanding how your upbringing might have shaped you. Recognizing these signs is the first step towards acceptance and subsequent growth.

Moreover, being overly coddled as a child isn’t a life sentence. Yes, it might have affected your behavior and perception, but it doesn’t define you.

You can learn, grow, and overcome these challenges.

So identifying one or even all nine of these signs certainly doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of dependency or fear of failure.

Instead, consider this as an opportunity for self-reflection and self-improvement. Are you thriving in your life? If not, what steps can you take to better understand yourself and foster growth?

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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