"Mom!.Your over protective! and always watching me".. I heard this more recently in my house. I find this quite interesting as at one time the statement was "Mom!..I'm bored won't you come play with me." And this coming from my tweener (child between the age of 11-14).
Seems with each day that pass, this child want of independence grows- which to me is a good thing. I want the child to develop, to mature, and wonder into the woods of life knowing that she has protectors at home. But in this time and age, with all the internet predators, cyber bullies, and people who are just plain weird, parents do have to be a little over protective with their children, Right? No Wrong.
I state No, because over-protection leads to under-protection. Let me explain. To over protect means to smother. To preemptive strike at anything that could possible go wrong. Example: So Sally wants to go to her friends house to play-No cause one, I don't know Sally, Sally's family, the neighbors in Sally Neighborhood, or What Sally's religious beliefs, what Sally's family routine (bedtime, bath time, etc). These unknowns will lead to harm to my child. And harm is bad so no Sally can't go. Sally will learn your thinking pattern, soon Sally will stop asking, and start creating either a way to go or a way not to go. Either way this stifles Sally's Social growth, which stifles her ability to judge people. We learn what "undesirables" (people who we do not like or desire to be around) are from our school career, and other social interaction. If the child only see and hear you, guess what you become-an undesirable. They will love and hate you, sounds confusing? Well it is, especially to a developing child. And once you become an undesirable, You can not protect your child.
Now I'm not saying to allow your child access to everything and everyone around them. But to allow the child an opportunity to wonder out, learn and come back home to process. Because, You want your children to always feel protected by you.
If you are doing this then..you might be over protective
1. If your child can not go to friend's house without you calling to "checking up on them" which is at least five times
2. If your idea of non-intrusive behavior is reading your child's emails, mail and diary without there knowledge so that you can see if they are talking to someone.
3. If your children can not have social relationship (boy or girl) without you freaking out.
There are many more that could be added to the list.