The question was on an outdoor easel at my daughter’s school.
Of course I was concerned about my kid and I wanted the best for her. Of course it was my job to protect her from harm, or to help her find her way. But was I going too far? Because I have heard that being raised by overprotective parents might have some unintended consequences.
I went closer to the frame sandwich board I came across in the lobby, and saw that there were flyers with some questions in the basket hung on it. It was a short quiz, to find out whether you are over-protective or not. I took one and started answering right away. Here are the questions, if you want to answer for yourself:
1. If I leave my child with someone else (a babysitter, grandmother, father, etc.)
a. I think it’s good for my child and myself to get by without each other for a while
b. It will be difficult, but I know she will be okay
c. I cry uncontrollably
d. Leave my child with someone else? Are you kidding?
2. If my child wants to have a playdate at a friend’s house-
a. I would be happy. It’s great that she is socializing
b. I wouldn’t be comfortable, so I would offer to go with her
c. I would insist that the play date is at our house
d. They see each other at school. That should be enough.
3. When my child is taking a nap
a. I take this opportunity to get stuff done
b. I would be very silent so I don’t disturb her
c. I just watch her sleep for hours and hours
d. I check her every 5 minutes to make sure if she is still breathing.
4. When my child catches a cold
a. No big deal. Kids catch cold.
b. Time for orange juice and mommy’s magical chicken soup
c. I take her temperature hourly and keep a track
d. Of course I take her to the emergency room
5. When my 7 year old wants to ride her bike all by herself
a. I give her a helmet and send her off
b. I let her go but secretly keep an eye on her
c. I go out with her
d. Not while she is living under my roof!
The result was on the outdoor banner stand as well. I will not tell you what I am, but I will write so that you can evaluate yourself.
If your answers are mostly a and b, you are doing okay, to give enough space for your kid to grow and learn from her own mistakes.
If your answers are mostly c and d, you are a bit over the line. You must remember, kids learn through mistakes. If you don’t want your child to be dependent and with low self-esteem, just step back a little.