Is parenting a competition in the present times? The answer is a big resounding YES.
Everywhere I look around; it seems that the aim of most parents today is to create this perfect child who excels at everything he does.
“We’ve turned modern parenting into a cross between a competitive sport and product development.”
– Carl Honore, Canadian journalist and author of ‘In Praise of Slow’
This statement is so apt; we have made our kids into a product, and we consider ourselves entirely responsible for their development and achievements.
Welcome to the world of hyper parenting! More so relevant in our hyper-competitive Indian environment.
From the time a baby is in the mother’s womb, he/she is said to be learning and imbibing things. The mother is asked to be very careful of what she hears, reads, or does.
Once the baby is born, the parents get toys for their skill development, read to them before they can see clearly and take them for swimming lessons even before they start walking.
As they grow, parents start endless schedules and classes after school. It’s a huge parenting mistake that many of us parents are oblivious to.
Are we parents not pushing our children too much?
And forget our children, are we not exhausting ourselves in the process as well?
What is Hyper Parenting?
Hyper parenting, in simple words, means a parent who is over-involved with the child.
All parents undoubtedly want the best for their children. But while doing so, they want to make the perfect child with an ideal childhood.
It might sound like a normal thing, but in the long run, hyper parents tend to protect children to an extent where it affects their growth and self-esteem. A strong willed child maybe a boon as they are more assertive than an obedient one.
Hyper parents have a schedule for each moment of the day and enroll the child in various extracurricular activities. They are not only involved in the academics of their child but are an integral part of their social life as well.
Signs of Hyper Parenting
Some of the major signs of hyper parenting are:
- A schedule with no free time and many-after school activities
- Constantly monitoring the life of the child
- Not letting the child indulge in free play or boredom
- Giving constant attention to the child
The Negative Effects of Hyper Parenting
Hyper parents intend to give that much-needed push to their child, but in my opinion, it alienates the child from the fun things of life, including boredom.
When each minute of the day is planned for the child, it can be overstimulating for them, limiting their freedom and independence.
Hyper parenting has several adverse effects on the overall growth of a child, such as:
- Low levels of physical activity
- Low immunity level and hence, more prone to falling sick
- Lack of communication with peers
- Following the rules and schedules blindly kills their creativity and assertiveness
- Rigid behavior
- Low self-confidence
- Prone to depression
Take it Slow
In a race to be perfect parents, we tend to forget that our children do not want an ideal parent but a happy one.
When we give them some free time, we give ourselves the much needed “me time”, which is essential for our rejuvenation and relaxation.
Free play is a must for kids, and letting them schedule this time makes them independent and helps in developing their decision-making ability.
When we can trust our child and the choices they make, we strengthen the life-long bond that we will share with them.
Another significant advantage of letting the child decide their activities is it enables them to understand their liking and aptitude versus being pushed to doing everything available.
Strike the Balance
Parenting is not rocket science that needs to be perfectly mastered.
In the initial years, letting the child be and enjoying free time is a great idea. Gradually, helping them plan activities and their schedules is advisable. The idea is not to be the cop, but a partner in their journey.
Hyper parenting can suit some kids but can be detrimental to the growth of others. Thus, parents need to remain calm, reflect to know which parenting style works the best for their child.
Be the parent who listens to their child and let the kids choose the direction and then guide them.
Kids may need to be pushed, but the right thing to do is to push them in the direction they want to go in.
Trust your child and your parenting skills. We will go wrong, but remember, who wants to be a perfect parent?
All we want to be is a present parent.
Finally, remember that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. So take a deep breath, relax, and just be a real one. A happy and fulfilled one!
Your child will thank you for it!
(Note: If you enjoyed this story, then please like, share, and let our guest author, Arushi Seth, know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Would you like to write a guest blog for ‘The Tina Edit’? If yes, then please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. )
About Arushi Seth
Arushi is a blogger and a full-time mother to a baby girl. She realizes relationships in life, and especially motherhood does not come with a manual. All women should learn from each others’ experiences, and so, she pens on her blog, Being A Thinkaholic, to help people decode relationships, pregnancy, and parenting. Her ‘thinkaholic’ brain works best at night when the world is asleep. Besides writing, she loves to travel and explore new places.
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Thank you for posting this Tina. It’s an honour for me to have a post on your blog. Thanks for this opportunity
My sincere thanks to you, Arushi for taking the time to write this wise guest blog for ‘The Tina Edit”. It is my honor and pleasure to host you here and feature your diverse voice. I loved the post. 🙂
I love this. Exactly. My husband and I choose to parent our son with the Montessori methodology for this exact reason. Parents seem either too involved or not involved enough
Hi Kate! This is so true. I find the same extremes in parenting styles around as well. Both are detrimental for the child’s well-being. Montessori methodology is the best for the elementary stage of education. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Keep reading!
Thanks for reading and I am so glad you like the post. Montessori methods are well balanced and do not take any extreme approach and parenting i believe is all about the balance. Keep reading!!
Thanks, Tina, for introducing Arushi to me. She seems to be a sorted person with a clarity. Her writing aligns with her belief. There’s no hyper elements in her writing style as well. It’s simple & effective. Its reflection could be seen in the way she defined hyper parenting. I’m in agreement with every aspect of this article. My favourite quote:
“A strong willed child maybe a boon as they are more assertive than an obedient one.”
Thank you so much for reading and your kind words. I am glad you like the post. Lets stay connected. I hope you like other posts on my blog, http://www.beingathinkaholic.com. I would love to hear your thoughts. 🙂
Exactly my thoughts on the issue of pushing kids too much to learn too many skills too fast. Been there done that, I have now slowed down to an extent that I let my boy breath and get bored to figure out what he wants to do with his free time. I observe and have found out what kind of activities he likes best.
And I so agree on the point that strong headed free willed kids are as good as the obedient ones in the long run. The only caveat is that I now have to train myself to keep my BP levels under control 😉
Haha!! You learn as a parent too. I agree sometimes it is important to get bored because that is when you are able to be innovative and get out the best in you. Thank you for reading. I am glad you like the post 🙂
Every parent wants their kids to feel good about themselves — and with good reason. Studies have shown that confident kids experience benefits ranging from less anxiety and improved performance in school to increased resilience and healthier relationships. But some of those strategies can backfire, creating a vicious cycle where kids struggle to feel good about who they are. Thanks for this great post.
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