This paper intends to explore the negative impacts of hyper-parenting on a child’s development and offer an insight into better parenting techniques that can be pursued in nurturing children.
Parenting can be a challenging but quite rewarding venture. With the best in mind for their children, parents may tend to be too involved in their child’s development often not giving them enough space to develop on their own. Hyper-parenting affects a child’s physical condition. Another negative effect of hyper-parenting is lowered achievement at school. Children’s psychology also tends to be affected by hyper-parenting. Children are immature and unfinished, and are merely learners. There are better ways of parenting that can help parents empower their children to be self-sufficient, independent and have better skills of coping with challenges in life and lead better lives. The negative effects of hyper-parenting far outweigh any good purported to emanate from it. Parents should embrace better parenting techniques that allow children to be independent, self-sufficient and able to cope life’s challenges.
Examples of bad parenting
Parenting can be the most rewarding venture. However, it is a long-terms investment with no guaranteed returns. As a parent, one should be prepared to invest more than they expect to get in return when it comes to parenting. For a vast majority of Americans, their enjoyment of life tends to decrease the moment they bear children. Taking care of children is quite involving and may drain them of their energy. Some parents may find it difficult balancing between work and family life. With the introduction of children into the equation, they are faced with new responsibilities such as talking to infants, reading them stories and teaching them important values and virtues. From the moment a child is born to when they become adults, a parent’s influence is apparent and enormous having a great bearing on how their future turns out. It is worth noting, however, that despite the parent’s role in a child’s development, they are not the only ones that influencing the child as the society and surrounding environment also impacts them. Children come with their own independent personality that ought to be respected. The parent needs to act as a link between the child and the outside world preparing them to live their own life and explore their potential. With the best in mind for their children, parents may tend to be too involved in their child’s development often not giving them enough space to develop on their own. Hyper-parenting is harmful as it can negatively affect a child’s development in different ways and as such, better parenting techniques should be pursued in nurturing children.
Hyper-parenting affects a child’s physical condition. Children who are over-scheduled by their parents tend to fall sick easily. Such children tend to be depressed. Doctors opine that there is a reciprocal relationship between depression and prolonged physical illness. Illnesses emanating from the effects of hyper-parenting are a concern for doctors in the U.S. as the number of children affecting continues to rise across the country (Warner, 2012, p. 49). Reports by doctors on a rise in children having stomach ulcers and headaches that are frequent as a result of stress and exhaustion are a pointer to the seriousness of the issue. The cases are more common among the children belonging to the middle-class families. Most families in the middle-class category are characterized by both parents working leaving them with little interaction time with their children. Such parents tend to cover up for their absence with after school club activities for their children to help keep them busy and improve on their abilities (Nelson, 2010, p. 79). The children tend to attend them out of necessity even when they have no interest in them at all. This puts stress on them that results in depression which in the end affects their physical health severely.
Another negative effect of hyper-parenting is lowered achievement at school. Hyper parents tend to interfere too much in their children’s school life. They may push their children too hard hoping that they perform to their expectations (Warner, 2012, p. 51). For instance, where the parents are alumni of Ivy League schools, they expect their children to achieve the same fate. Low performance at school in such instances may attract constant bashing from the parent. They may recommend remedial classes for them from their teachers. In most private schools, teachers have on many occasions complained of constant pressure from parents for them to increase the amount of homework given to their children to keep them busy while at home. Too much school work can be overwhelming for the child. In instances where the extra work does not contribute to better performance, the affected child may be disillusioned. They may perceive themselves as underperformers and not as good as their parents may have purported them to be. The may become withdrawn and slowly slide into a state of low self-esteem having a low opinion of themselves. Their performance at school will worsen as they relent on their studies in the belief that they are not good enough and that their efforts will not lead to the kind of performance expected of them. The negative attitude will see them become less attentive in class and reduced active participation in classroom activities. They will no longer give classroom learning the seriousness it deserves. Their problems will worsen when their friends leave them behind as they progress through their studies. At the end of the day, both the hyper parent and their child lose out.
Children’s psychology also tends to be affected by hyper-parenting. Children may tend to be apathetic to their hyper parents. When the focus is on who the child should be and what they ought to achieve, the affected child’s view of their parents may change for the worse (Rosenfeld & Wise, 2011, p. 4). Such parents may come across as being nagging and not interesting to be around. Being around a parent who is constantly commenting on one’s shortcomings and stipulating what ought to be the scenario as opposed to embracing one and believing in one’s abilities creates some friction. Pushing a child too far makes them find you as being toxic, troublesome and an impediment to their happiness. A hyper parent if keen will be quick to notice their child’s lack of interest in them. There are several signs that point to potential withdrawal by a child. For instance, if on a parent entering the house, the child that may be watching television in the leaving room promptly chooses to leave for their room, one can tell that there is no much interest by the child in engaging and interacting with the parent (Warner, 2012, p. 51). Constant interaction between a child and the parent can help the parent nurture the child in the right way as they will get to know the child and his or her temperament better and as such handle them in a way that helps them lead a more productive lifestyle.
Pressure on children
Children are immature and unfinished, and are merely learners. Childhood is an age of preparation and as such parents need not expect full performance from their children. Judging everything that a child does is not good and points to the loss of direction on part of the parents in guiding their children. The fact that children are in learning process informs the need to let them live and enjoy life while at the same time exploring their abilities (Rosenfeld & Wise, 2011). As learners, it is absurd to expect that they must excel in whatever they do or be among the top performers. Even for an adult, it would be an excruciating experience for them to be judged based on every action they undertake. One will find constant judgment unfair. The same case applies to children. Parents tend to let their hobbies and passions be their children’s full-time occupation, a situation that only serves to distort their development. Coaches sometimes contribute to the problem when they tempt parents with the hopes of their child getting a scholarship (Redding, 2013, p. 34). Parents take up such hopes and insert immense pressure on their children in the hope that they manage to get a scholarship. Statistics indicate that a paltry 1% of all children get a scholarship. It would be as such unrealistic for any parent to expect that by putting just the right amount of pressure on their child, they will be able to be among the few who get selected for scholarship positions.
There are better ways of parenting that can help parents empower their children to be self-sufficient, independent and have better skills of coping with challenges in life and lead better lives. The first thing to do as a parent in bettering one’s parenting skills is to determine the first thing that they would like to work on (Hoffman, 2010, p. 390). Trying to change everything simultaneously will always prove counter-productive. Most parents have a problem deciding where to start in their efforts to nurture their children well. Priority should be accorded to things that place the child at risk. These may consist of behaviors that are emotionally or physically dangerous to the child or those around them. One should be able to determine a specific item that they hope to manage in their child. Breaking down the behavior into parts and addressing each separately or systematically is bound to result in optimum outcomes.
The next step is to elaborate to the child on the need for the change, a task that is best undertaken when the child is behaving well to avoid alienating them (Winter, 2012, p. 63). The goal of the intended change should be made clear to the child. In case the message is not received well by the child, there is a need to stay calm understanding that the child does not necessarily need to agree. However, with time the child may change their perceptions and relate better with authority, something that will eventually work to the advantage of both parties. Parents can also take advantage of opportunities to reinforce positive traits in their child. For instance, they can refuse to take their child with them to the grocery store if they have a tendency to throw tantrums while there. One should also avoid appealing to a child’s empathy while at the same time setting limits and making the consequences of various actions clear. With such techniques, parents are able to inspire their children to carry themselves well, pursue their goals while respecting basic virtues and morals.
Clearly, hyper-parenting causes more harm than good in a child’s development a factor that informs the need for parents to explore alternative parenting techniques. A child’s physical well-being is greatly affected by over-scheduling. The result may be a chronic physical illness. Another downside to hyper-parenting is an inferior performance in school by the affected children. Such children may become disillusioned when they are able to fulfill their parent’s expectations. Other effects may be psychological in the sense that the effects of hyper-parenting take a tall such that it alienates them affecting the parent-child relationship estranging them. Children are a learning process and should be expected to excel at all times. There are better parenting techniques that can help parents empower their children putting them in a position to explore their potential fully. They involve focusing on the priority areas of behavioral change and ensuring that the child understanding the goal of change, the consequences of their actions and the allowed limits. Children should not be forced to agree with their parents. Rather, they should be allowed enough space to develop and learn from their mistakes along the way.
Hoffman, DM. 2010. "Risky investments: parenting and the production of the 'resilient child'." Health, Risk & Society 12, no. 4: 385-394. CINAHL Plus with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed November 14, 2016).
Nelson, M. K. (2010). Parenting Out of Control : Anxious Parents in Uncertain Times. New York: NYU Press.
Redding, A. B. (2013). Extreme Pressure: The Negative Consequences of Achievement Culture for Affluent Students During the Elite College Admission Process. Journal Of College Admission, (221), 32-37.
Rosenfeld, A., & Wise, N. (2011). The over-scheduled child: Avoiding the hyper-parenting trap. (cover story). Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, 17(4), 1-7.
Warner, J. (2012). Is Too Much Mothering Bad for You?: A Look at the New Social Science. Virginia Quarterly Review, 88(4), 48-53.
Winter, M. d. (2012). Socialization and Civil Society : How Parents, Teachers and Others Could Foster a Democratic Way of Life. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
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