Although you want to keep your child safe, overprotective parents are likely to cause harm to the development of their kids. You will need to make sure that you take a balanced approach in the raising of your kids. Talk to your spouse or the other parent about this as well so that the two of you can form good guidelines throughout the upbringing of your little ones.
In fact, working with the other parent is one of the keys to good parenting, even if the two of you are divorced or no longer together. You need to take a united front in regards to the big rules so that the kids have consistency. If you attempt to provide too much protection, the other parent may go overboard with freedoms when you are not around in order to compensate.
Children are not all the same, so you will need to factor in personalities when laying down rules as well as ages. For instance, one child may exhibit enough responsibility or initiative to be granted special access to the internet or other things of importance. However, you must make sure that you are as fair as possible when making these types of choices. Rather than being based on favoritism, it should be merit based.
Overprotective parents often attempt to keep their children stuck at a younger age. Whether it is out of fear of the kid being hurt, sadness about the lost youth or some other emotional cause, you need to address your feelings. When parents feel the need to behave in an excessive manner with their kids, it is often because of unhandled issues. Talk yours out with a trained professional in order to gain clarity and guidance.
You might also consider joining one or more parenting groups. These will give you the opportunity to hear and learn from others. As you see what your peers are going through, it is likely that you will gain insight as to what tactics could benefit your household.
In your efforts to quit being overprotective, it is important that you not sway too far in the other direction. Often, people swing from one end of the pendulum to the other when seeking a balanced approach. Be careful not to give too much freedom when loosening up or your child could suffer the consequences.
Keep the lines of communication open with your children and ask their point of view. While you do not have to change your mind based on their dislike of a subject, you need to understand their thinking. This includes the perception of peer freedom versus their own. If you talk to other parents, you can find out if you are being excessively protective. If not, let your kid know that other parents have similar rules.
If you are currently overprotective, you can begin to turn the tide around. Otherwise, continue to take steps to ensure you remain flexible and balanced in your parenting approach.