7 signs you were overly parented as a child

Did you grow up with parents who were always there, and I mean, always there? It’s great when parents are involved, but sometimes it can be a little too much.

You see, being overly parented as a child has its own distinct signs. And believe it or not, this type of upbringing can really shape who you are today.

Why am I saying this? Because those of us who were overly parented tend to have specific patterns, behaviors, or habits. And trust me, recognizing them is the first step towards understanding ourselves better.

So if you relate to these 7 signs, chances are you were overly parented as a child. But don’t worry – you’re in good company, and there’s plenty we can learn from our past!

1) You struggle with decision-making

Growing up, did you always have someone making decisions for you? From what clothes to wear, what food to eat, to which friends to hang out with – it was all sorted by your parents.

I remember when my friend Jenna was young, her parents would lay out her outfits every morning. There was never a question of what she was going to wear. It was always decided for her.

As you grow older, making decisions isn’t something your parents can do for you anymore. Instead, you’re supposed to navigate this complex world and make choices that shape your life.

But if you find yourself hesitating over every little decision, unsure of what to do or where to go, it’s probably because you’re so used to having someone else decide for you.

If you can relate to that feeling, chances are you were overly parented as a child.

2) You have a fear of failure

Now, this one hits close to home. When I was younger, my parents were always there to cushion any fall. They’d step in before I could make a mistake, keeping me in a safe and protected bubble.

I remember this one time when I was learning to ride a bike. My dad was always right behind me, holding onto the seat. Even when I felt confident enough to ride on my own, he still wouldn’t let go. He was so afraid I would fall and get hurt.

As I grew older, this fear of failure stuck with me. The thought of making a mistake or disappointing someone would paralyze me. It took me a while to realize that it’s okay to mess up sometimes.

So if you find yourself afraid to take risks or step out of your comfort zone due to the fear of failure, it might be because you were overly parented as a child.

3) You often seek validation

Okay, here’s a confession: I, too, have fallen prey to the constant need for validation. Growing up, my parents would always be there to praise my every move. From tying my shoelaces to acing a test, they made sure I knew just how proud they were.

I remember one instance when I was in the school play. I wasn’t the lead or anything, just a background character, but my parents clapped the loudest and cheered the hardest when I was on stage. It felt wonderful then, but it created a pattern.

As an adult, I found myself constantly seeking that kind of applause. Whether it was at work or in relationships, I craved that validation and approval. It was as if I was conditioned to associate self-worth with how much others appreciated me.

If you find yourself constantly seeking validation and approval from others, you might have been overly parented as a child. It’s not about blaming our parents, but understanding how our upbringing influences our behaviors today.

4) You’re uncomfortable with confrontation

7 signs you were overly parented as a child 1 7 signs you were overly parented as a child

Do you avoid conflicts like the plague? I know I do. Growing up, my parents always stepped in to resolve any disagreements or fights. Whether it was a squabble with my siblings or a dispute with a friend, they were always there to smooth things over.

I remember a time back in school when I had a disagreement with my best friend over something trivial. Instead of letting us sort it out, my parents immediately intervened, resolving the issue on our behalf.

Now, as an adult, I find it difficult to handle confrontations. The moment there’s a disagreement or argument, I feel the urge to step back or keep quiet, just to avoid any conflict.

If you often find yourself avoiding confrontation or struggling to voice your opinion when disagreements arise, it could be a sign that you were overly parented as a child.

5) You have a strong desire for perfection

Ever felt the pressure to be perfect? I know I have. It’s a common trait among those of us who were overly parented. Our parents had high expectations, and we learned early on to strive for perfection.

Here’s something fascinating. A study led by the American Psychological Association found that children who felt pressured by their parents to strive for perfectionism often grow up to be adults who struggle with self-acceptance and are critical of themselves.

Reflecting on my own journey, I can see the connection. In high school, my parents always pushed me to be the best. Whether it was grades, sports, or even hobbies, there was always this underlying expectation of excellence.

Now, as an adult, I often catch myself striving for perfection in everything I do. While it can drive me to work harder, it also adds a lot of unnecessary pressure and stress.

If you often find yourself striving for perfection and are excessively critical of yourself when things don’t go as planned, you might have been overly parented as a child.

6) You’re not very adventurous

Adventurousness was never my strong suit. Growing up, my parents always kept a close watch on me. There were limits to where I could go, who I could hang out with, and what time I needed to be home.

I recall a time when all my friends planned a camping trip. They were all excited, talking about the fun they’d have and the memories they’d make. But the idea of being away from home without my parents around? It spooked me more than any ghost story!

Fast forward to adulthood, and I still find myself hesitating to take risks or step out of my comfort zone. It’s not that I don’t want to try new things, but there’s always this little voice inside that tells me to stay safe and stick to what I know.

If you can relate to this feeling of caution and hesitance when it comes to venturing into unfamiliar territories, you may have been overly parented as a child.

7) You’re overly dependent on others

This is something we often don’t realize until we’re out there in the real world, fending for ourselves. When we’ve been overly parented, we tend to rely heavily on others for both emotional and practical support.

I’ll admit, the first time I had to live alone, I was a mess. My parents always did everything for me – from cooking meals to doing laundry. When it came to managing these tasks on my own, I was completely lost.

Being overly dependent isn’t just about not knowing how to do things. It’s also about seeking emotional support. When you’re used to having your parents always there to comfort you, being on your own can feel incredibly daunting.

If you find yourself depending heavily on others to get through daily life or handle emotional situations, you might have been overly parented as a child.

The takeaway

If these signs resonate with you, it’s likely that you were overly parented as a child. But hey, don’t worry. It’s not about blaming our parents or ourselves, but understanding how our past shapes us. And remember, it doesn’t have to define who we are.

The beauty of life is that we can always learn, grow and change. As we become aware of these patterns, we can start to shift them. It begins with acknowledging where we’re at and striving for a healthier balance.

You might find yourself struggling with decision-making or craving constant validation. Or perhaps you tend to shy away from confrontation or have a fear of failure. Regardless, know that it’s okay. These are just signs pointing towards areas where growth can happen.

It’s about learning to trust ourselves, to make our own choices and accept that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s about learning to validate our own achievements and understand that perfection is not the goal-happiness is.

It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. But every small step towards self-reliance and self-confidence counts.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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