What is Overparenting?
Although many people imagine that children of divorce are given less attention from both of their parents, or enjoy a less stable environment, the reality is that it is actually quite common for divorced parents to increase their efforts towards providing a loving home and strong parental supervision for their children following the dissolution of their marriage. While this can ensure that a child is able to transition to post-divorce life as smoothly as possible, it can also result in overparenting, a term that is used to describe the overprotection or overindulgence of a child.
Attempting to navigate post-divorce life is only one of the difficulties faced by many divorced parents, who must also grapple with legal complexities, so if you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, it is critical to consult with an experienced child visitation and time sharing attorney who can advise you on these complicated issues.
Signs of Overparenting
There are a number of signs that a couple, in an attempt to help their children adapt to life after divorce, may actually be overparenting or attempting to micromanage their child’s life, including:
- Getting into power struggles with their children over small or inconsequential issues;
- Struggling to let a child make his or her own decisions;
- Refusing to let a child fail by quickly telling him or her the right answer on homework or intervening in minor disagreements during play dates;
- Worrying about issues with which other parents are not concerned, such as letting a child play on a playground;
- Arguing with other adults, such as coaches, teachers, and caregivers about how they treat their child, which can stifle children’s ability to learn different rules in different environments;
- Having difficulty identifying age appropriate expectations, whether those expectations are too high by requiring children to be constantly involved in extracurricular activities, or too low by being unable to let a child do anything for him or herself; and
- Failing to give a child age appropriate responsibilities, such as small chores.
Unfortunately, this type of hypervigilance (also known as helicopter parenting) and overindulgence can have serious and negative repercussions for a child, including the stunting of his or her development and problem solving ability. Relationships with one’s child as well as one’s partner or ex-spouse can also suffer as a result of overparenting, which is characterized by power struggles, which in turn, often leads to conflict, whether between the child and his or her parents or the parents themselves. In either case, such conflict can make it difficult to focus on how to serve and protect the child’s best interests, especially during or immediately following a divorce.
Call Today for a Free Case Evaluation
For help with your own time sharing-related concerns, please call experienced Fort Lauderdale child visitation rights attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591. You can also reach a member of our legal team by completing one of our brief contact forms. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today.