Letter to an Overprotective Mother

Dearest overprotective mother,

This letter is addressed to you if you criticize the teacher or question their actions, refuse the pediatrician’s valid request for a psychological evaluation, or vent your grievances on the web.

I wish to share some information with you regarding maternal overprotection and its potential negative effects on children. This phenomenon is becoming increasingly prevalent in modern society and can impact the emotional and social development of our children.

Being an overprotective mother means trying to shield your child from any real or imagined danger or difficulty, by assuming their place in every situation and preventing them from experiencing and facing life. This attitude may be motivated by various factors, such as parental protective instincts, difficulty recognizing the child’s behavioral limits and responsibilities, lack of trust and respect towards other adults, fear of losing control over their life, and concern about their suffering or failure.

However, it is crucial to understand that being an overprotective mother does not benefit your child; instead, it can harm them in many ways. A child raised in this manner may develop low self-esteem and a sense of inadequacy, become emotionally dependent on the mother, experience anxiety and fear of the outside world, and exhibit rebellious and aggressive behavior.

To avoid these risks, it is essential for an overprotective mother to reevaluate her parenting style and encourage the child’s autonomy and responsibility. Some helpful tips in this regard are: gradually trying to reduce anxiety by cultivating new interests; letting go of guilt; accepting oneself and finding humor; communicating with other adults who play an educational role in the child’s life, such as teachers or doctors; listening to the child’s point of view and respecting their needs; assisting the child in recognizing and managing their emotions; acknowledging their progress and successes; and setting clear and consistent rules.

I understand that changing one’s mothering approach is not easy, but I can assure you that it is worth it for the well-being of your child. Fostering autonomy and confidence in your child will help them grow up to be healthy and secure, better prepared to face life’s challenges.

Yours sincerely,

Leandro Mallamaci

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