Clinical psychologist and author Marc Nemiroff said: “Micromanagement goes against natural development. It takes away the child’s experience and [impedes] his learning how to handle himself in the world. Part of the job of the parent is not to do everything for the child, but to help him do things more and more independently.”
Being a parent of the millennium, you are concerned and determined to help your kid. But, at times, your involvement can do more harm than good. Overparenting refers to a parent’s attempts to micromanage the life of their kid. It usually stems out from a parent’s desire to manage their distress as they can’t stand watching their kid get hurt or fail. But, overindulgence can have serious outgrowths, such as stunting a child’s development and causing a child to become overly reliant.
Here are the warning signs that you are micromanaging your child.
- You frequently interfere during playdates
One of the warning signs of micromanagement is during a play date when you can’t resist yourself to interpose at the first sign of conflict. With your immediate interference, it becomes difficult for a kid to learn to be on his own and to manage the conflicts. Unless safety is an issue, parents should wait for a while before stepping in. Even if you do have to intervene, try to be an arbitrator and let your child work it out themselves.
- You obsess over what your kid eats
Mostly, parents are overly concerned about their kids’ eating habits. If your child is a picky eater, arguing over food can create an unhealthy power struggle. It is observed that parents become “control freaks,” especially during mealtime. If your kid doesn’t want to try a new food or wants to have last night’s pizza for breakfast, that’s fine.
- You argue with your kid over clothing
Before clashing with your kids over clothes, think again about what is important. You don’t have to impose your own opinion. If they want to dress to fit in at their school, let them do it even if they aren’t looking good enough. Try to see it from their point of view.
- You interfere with your kid’s homework
Micromanaging homework time is appropriate for kids with particular learning disabilities. But, for the average student, parents shouldn’t interfere until the kid asks for help. Parents who try to help too much with the homework don’t give their kids the chance to work out things themselves. Consequently, kids are not very confident in their abilities, even if they are smart and intelligent. It is fine to help your child with homework, but when the teacher says you are doing too much, you should listen.
- You argue with your kid’s teacher over grades
Parents should try to know what their kids are learning, show interest, praise their efforts, but don’t try to take over the teacher’s role. When it is about grades, it is something between the kid and the teacher. When a parent intervenes every time their kid brings home grades less than an “A,” the child grows the impractical impression that he is always entitled to an “A.” As a result, he never learns to advocate for himself and believes that his parents will fix everything that goes wrong. However, kids should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.
- You frequently call your child during school
Parenting experts believe that calling or text messaging your kid during school is inapt. It can be troubling for kids knowing their parents are keeping checks on them. It makes them furious and angry as they can’t explore their autonomy. There is a thin line between monitoring and privacy, so parents have to consider that.
- You demand every detail of your kid’s day
There is a huge difference between asking about your kid’s day and being a district attorney. Unless you suspect your kid of some inappropriate activities like drugs or alcohol, there is no apparent reason to ask for a “play by play” for every hour of the day.
- Your worry about things other parents don’t
If you are the only parent who is being overprotective about the monkey bars at the playground, it can be tempting to assume that you are more caring than the others. But, you have to consider the other side to the picture that you may be micromanaging your minor. If you try to hold your kid back just because you are overprotective, you may be cheating your kids from reaching their full potential.
Put a stop to Micromanagement
Micromanaging equates to overindulgence. You don’t assign many responsibilities to your kids or don’t expect them to be independent, how can they learn life skills. Parenting your kid in a way that keeps you away from anxieties or discomforts isn’t healthy at all. It is important to realize the fact that your child needs the autonomy to be a kid. Micromanaging your kid will prevent your kid from experiencing a rich childhood that plays a significant role in becoming a responsible adult.
If you are mortified of micromanaging your kid, it is time to create positive change in your life. You need to commit to putting a stop to behaviors that are detrimental to your kids’ development. When you put a stop to micromanaging your kid, you are more likely to observe a sudden increase in behavior problems. But, in the long run, your kid is going to learn life skills s/he needs to become a responsible grownup.