Single child culture leading to over parenting ?


In today’s ambitious and competitive world, the age to get married has extended to late twenties and early thirties for both the genders. Also since the younger generation wanted to explore life and the opportunities thrown by it before they get married, could also be another cause for it.

So naturally, this generation of married couples are preferring one child over two. And with the ever increasing cost of living, this only child rule could be seen as a reasonable option to the couple. But is this trend  stimulating the culture of over parenting ?

Over Parenting –

Over parenting is about excessive involvement of parents in the day to day activities of a child, particularly in order to protect them from tough situations and to help them succeed in their entire path.

One could think, why does having a single child develop this kind of parenting style? See, we all know this is the nuclear family generation, where the family consists of parents and their children alone.

So because of this on the personal level the parents entire focus will be on their only child, apart from their professional work. This tendency, in the long run will make parents overprotective of their child and make their child, parent clingy.

The effects on the child –

Based on my own findings from everyday observations, the effects of over parenting on the child could be-

Making friends – because of the constant parent attendance with their child as part of over parenting, the child will find it difficult and take a long time  to develop friendship with their peer group.

For example- to make friends on their own, one should approach and should start a conversation by themselves, here where the child may feel little shy and odd

Confidence levels – the too much guidance and spoon feeding of the parents, the child appears to be less confident in her doings.

Like for suppose they doubt their every word and every act, whether they are talking in a right way or whether they are doing it in a right way.

Decision making – as part of this over parenting style, parents will start providing everything that the child needs irrespective of the child’s demand. This will make it difficult for the child to decide on  what exactly she likes, what she wants etc.this could be about small things such as a colour of her linking to bid things like what career she wants to pursue in future.

Persuasion – with the habit of over parenting and over caring the child could not develop the art of persuading or convincing others in her later ages, where it is needed. 

Handling tough times – in some cases of over parenting there are chances of developing the problem of fear complex or anxiety among the children during the tough times, where they will feel low and confused about how to handle such situations without the parents assistance. Child may face such situations particularly when they could not score more marks as expected , when she couldn’t get the job of her liking etc

Having known all these things, though we may not change the present increased trend of having one child, the parents can recede from their current style of over parenting and should start to take up the role of facilitators for their children, thereby letting the children understand and face things in their own way.

Anusha Pappala

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