The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Some children overprotected

Viewpoint by Gary Collins/reporter

Once upon a time, kindergartners could enjoy a game of musical chairs. Outside of school, sports teams could compete against each other for some kind of trophy.

A new trend among some parents is to shelter their kids from any negative experience such as losing a game. Yes, the children may be upset, but in most cases, they’ll get over it.

When I was younger, my friends and I participated in some kind of competitive activity. And like most, we lost some and won some, and the sky didn’t fall.

Life is full of disappointment, and it’s better to get used to that now. The parental intentions are good: to protect and keep their children happy. But sheltering them from anything unpleasant will not help them in the real world. The real world won’t care.

I now can see why my dad had no sympathy for the whining from me or my brother. It was often over trivial things like cleaning our room.

The Simpsons recently ran a episode in which Homer became a “helicopter parent” (he even twirled in circles like a helicopter) by trying to create a social life for Lisa and to keep Bart from becoming a failure. He went so far as hanging out in the school to ensure nothing happened to upset Bart or Lisa. 

Constant hovering over their children can ill-prepare them for life outside their comfort zone. If parents do not allow them to live, they will not learn to adjust. Plus, it’s annoying to have someone looking over your shoulder all the time.

Being too sheltered can put children at a disadvantage too. They might have the material wealth but aren’t able to make decisions.

One friend grew up extremely sheltered. At 39, he was not prepared for the challenges of being married and living away from any close family. In the end, it didn’t work out because he just didn’t know what to do.

A lot of life is just living and experiencing stuff, especially for teens.

Parents shouldn’t get offended if children want to make their own decisions. They should look forward to it. And if the parents do their job right, they should be able to trust their children to make the right decisions. By the time they reach their teens, they should want to make their own decisions. Parents should understand why sometimes their teens and 20-somethings get a little cranky when they constantly have someone looking over their shoulder.

It’s just the same as saying, “I don’t trust you to do anything right, and I am going to watch you to make sure you don’t screw anything up.”

If parents care about their children, they need to let them live.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian