by Gypsy » Jul 15, 2014 So, I read this article. http://people.howstuffworks.com/5-signs-of-overparenting.htm#page=6 among others. And parts of it really resonated with what I see around me. Specifically: As... "helicopter-parented kids came of age, teachers and child development researchers noticed that all of that parental bubble wrapping had adverse effects. Ironically, with moms and dads excessively safeguarding boys and girls for success, kids weren't developing the psychological resilience and creativity to weather the inevitable pitfalls and logjams on the road to adulthood. Kids on losing sports teams receive 'participation trophies,' and young students who bring home lackluster grades are simply told they'll do better next time. But that sort of empty praise has been shown to breed poor performance and unhealthy personality traits in children as they age. For example, a landmark 2007 study from Columbia University found that kids continually told they're smart tend to avoid activities where they don't excel, essentially selling themselves short for fear of failure [source: Bronson]. Such self-esteem coddling also may explain record high rates of narcissism among today's young adults [source: Gottleib]. What has been shown to breed successful, satisfied kids in the long term? Learning how to fail and bravely move forward." But I don't have kids. So it's easy for me to judge the parents I see and hear around me. And honestly, it's hard not to. But I haven't walked a mile in your shoes. Are you an overparenter? A helicopter parent? Are the opposite? How do you know if you've struck the right balance? I'm specifically asking those with kids under 21. What do you think it means to overparent? And what can you/should you do if you see signs of it in your friends or family? Or do you just leave it alone? Examples of what I think overparenting looks like: * Co-worker of mine literally did all of his kids college applications, wrote their personal statements, and his daughter-- a sophmore in college in another STATE - couldn't book a dentist's appointment without him. I know this because he did all during work hours and I had the cube next to him. * Parents that think they have to watch their developmentally average kids above 8 years of age every second of the day. They don't let their kids pick books to read without them, let them eat alone lest they choke, turn in a homework assignment without reviewing/correcting it first. For example: I saw a perfectly healthy (no medical issues) 9 year old try to take a grape off a fruit bowl at a barbeque a couple weeks ago and his mom snatched it from him like it was poison and said "You know that you can choke if you eat a whole grape" and then she sat there and cut up grapes for him. IMO, These parents don't realize how much harm they are doing to these kids out of love. The first example...college (starting at the application process) is exactly WHEN you are supposed to develop life skills, IMO. Like being able to book a dentist appointment by yourself, or writing a personal statement, which is like a job interview. My co-workers kids are 5 years MAX away from having to hold a job. They won't be able to survive a harsh interview, let alone a day to day job. And the second example with the kid and the grapes. A 9 year old can and should, IMO, be mature enough to be left alone to eat without supervision. And grapes don't need to be cut up. The kid should be competent enough to bite the thing in half by 9 years old, if it is too big to swallow whole. The mom, right before my eyes, was crippling her kid by undermining the kids independence, judgement and self confidence. If a nine year old doesn't have the confidence to eat (a basic bodily function) by himself... how can he have the confidence to do anything else? And honestly? What does the mom think happens at school? Last time I was in school, no one supervised everything I ate. But, like I said. It's easy for me to judge. I don't have kids. So I'd like to get your thoughts. BUT... keeping this in mind: " Overparenting often comes from a sincere desire to provide the best for children. Yet that urge can fester into intra-parental competition, as well anger and hostility at the merest hint of a child being harmed in any way. " Please do not turn HOSTILE and defensive. Try to keep it civil folks, no more than that, but civil is the bar here. This is an honest inquiry.