Sheltering Your Son Could Lead to Issues When Out On Their Own

When dealing with a troubled teen, you might think you’re helping them by restricting what they do, monitoring who they hang out with, and having strict rules in place. However, an overprotective parenting style can do more harm than good for your son in the long run.

By sheltering your troubled teen, you’re making it harder for them to learn how to effectively communicate with society, making decisions for themselves, and manage their emotions in stressful situations.

As a result, your son might have difficulty facing the “real world” as an adult. There are many implications of overprotective parenting — let’s take a look at how sheltering your son can lead to issues once they’re out on their own.

What is overprotective parenting?

It’s common for parents of troubled boys to have an overprotective parenting style. As a way to control your son, you might take precautions to prevent them from getting physically or emotionally hurt. No one wants to see their child upset, unhappy, or in harm, so you find ways to prevent them from feeling rejected or experiencing negativity.

Parents who shelter their teens attempt to do this by:

  • Monitoring their son’s whereabouts at all times, often using a phone’s GPS
  • Restricting where their teen can hang out and who they are spending their time with
  • Becoming over-involved in their daily life from school to social aspects
  • Making decisions for them instead of letting them stumble a few times
  • Overly consoling their child in a situation that leaves them upset
  • Providing constant supervision and micro-managing every aspect of their daily life
  • Creating a sense of dependency between themselves and their teen

While you may think you’re helping your son by protecting them from experiences that can cause them to harm or upset them, you’re making it difficult for them to learn how to cope in these situations.

As a result, they often aren’t ready to take on the real world as an adult.

5 ways sheltering your son can lead to issues as an adult

1. Not allowing your teen to make mistakes

Making mistakes is part of life. While they may cause your son to stumble momentarily, mistakes can help a troubled teen because of the learning experience mistakes provide.

As a parent, you may struggle to watch your son fail or mess up — it’s a natural reaction. With an overprotective parenting style, you may find yourself trying to prevent these scenarios from happening to prevent your teen from making a mistake in the first place. By doing so, you’re unknowingly preventing them from building up the mental strength and toughness that will allow them to successfully face the situation the next time.

If your son isn’t able to face mistakes and learn from them as a teenager, he will have a difficult time coping with mistakes as an adult.

2. Shielding your son from negative emotions

When your child is facing a hardship that upsets them, it can be difficult to watch. You only want what’s best for your child, which means you want to see them happy and enjoying life. However, ignoring these negative emotions or reacting to them in a way that makes them think it’s not ok to express their feelings can impact the development of their emotional intelligence and self-esteem.

Instead of coddling your child and sheltering them from situations where they might get upset, you need to help them identify what triggers their negative emotions so they can learn to self-regulate.

Helping them regulate their emotions early on will enable them to handle their emotions more effectively as adults when interacting in new situations.

3. Causing your son to experience anxiety and depression

By overprotecting your son during his developmental years, there is an increased risk that he’ll exhibit traits of oversensitivity, and as a result, it can lead to anxiety and depression.

When sheltering your son, you likely limit their social interactions, monitor their whereabouts, and choose who they hang out with. This monitoring of their social life creates a sense of social anxiety for the child because they know their parents are watching everything they do.

Because your child cannot choose their friends or get the social experiences they need throughout the developmental years, they’ll often struggle in social settings as adults, which can leave them feeling alone and depressed.

4. Always seeking approval from others

Growing up in an environment where your son’s behaviors and actions are constantly scrutinized, they’ll have a growing need for approval for anything they do.

While these approval-seeking tendencies are strongest between the boy and parents, your son will also seek approval and validation from friends, colleagues, and most individuals he comes into contact with. This need for validation can stifle their ability to make decisions because of their constant worry about what others will think and how their decisions will be perceived.

By continuously putting others’ needs above their own, your troubled teen will likely struggle with interpersonal relationships due to their inability to put their own needs first. They may also struggle when someone questions their decision because they aren’t equipped emotionally to face criticism or judgment.

Making risky and dangerous decisions

When raised in an overprotective household, your teen constantly feels pressure to live up to your standards and behave a particular way. While this can lead them to be more reserved or timid as adults, it also often results in a rebellious phase once they are out on their own.

During this rebellious phase, your troubled son may take on high-risk behaviors that take them down the wrong path and get them into situations they aren’t emotionally capable of handling on their own. From alcohol and drug abuse to promiscuous sexual acts, your son may find himself in a world where his main goal is to make up for lost time due to his lack of freedom when under your roof.

If your parenting style tends to be on the overprotective side, you must consider seeking outside help to ensure your troubled teen prepares for a life on their own. At Liahona Treatment Center, our therapists are trained to help teen boys overcome various mental health struggles and encourage a sense of responsibility and accountability.

Contact us today to find out how we can help your family.

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