7 unique traits shared by people whose parents controlled too much of their childhood
Helicopter parents. With their small propellers, they zoom above your head and zoom in on every decision, every interaction.
Being the first parents to arrive on site to pick you up from the sports practice. Always keep one eye on your phone.
Track your location remotely, like the FBI.
You know, those parents who pore over every aspect of their child’s life, from school performance to playdate etiquette, and make sure everything is just the way they want (or at least approve of) it.
While there is no denying that their intentions are good, it is also true that this type of parenting can have a significant impact on a child’s personality and behavior.
If you are someone who grew up with a high level of parental supervision, you may have developed certain traits or traits that set you apart from others.
Do you want to know what influence growing up with overly controlling parents can have on your later life?
Stick around to learn about the seven unique traits commonly observed in people whose parents controlled too much of their childhood.
It’s not about blaming anyone, mind you.
It’s about understanding the effects of our upbringing and using that knowledge to better understand ourselves and how we want to parent in the future (if that’s on your card!)
Have you ever found yourself obsessed with small details?
Toiling, exhausting yourself as you strive for perfection in every task, no matter how small and no matter how many parts of you whisper, “There is no such thing as perfection.”
Well, this could be a trait that comes from childhood.
Children of controlling parents often develop perfectionistic tendencies.
They are used to having every aspect of their activities scrutinized and criticized, and being constantly told how to do better. That’s why they learn to handle things in such a way that they avoid criticism the first time.
This is not necessarily a bad thing (in moderation), as it can promote success and high standards.
But it’s important to remember that it’s okay to make mistakes.
We are only human after all, and part of being human is embracing the imperfection that comes from all the mistakes and unexpected paths we face along the way.
2) Difficulty making decisions
When faced with difficult decisions, how easily do you choose?
Pizza or noodles?
Buying a gerbil or a German Shepherd?
Big city promotion or soft, rural lifestyle?
It’s not even just the big decisions that worry you.
Too many times have I been frozen in the cereal aisle of a supermarket, frozen with indecision, unable to decide between Coco Pops or Special K.
The difficulty of growing up with parents who made most of the decisions for you is that you often find decision-making quite challenging (much like I often do in the cereal aisle).
As a child, your choices were probably limited. You followed the path your parents had set. They chose which cereal you would get that morning.
But remember: It’s okay to take your time and weigh your options now that you’re a full-fledged adult.
Decision-making is a skill that you can nurture and improve over time, so you can follow your own path.
3) Nail-biting anxiety
The pressure and stressors caused by parents watching your every move can certainly lead to rebellious and adrenaline-seeking individuals.
But it can also cause anxious thoughts that buzz around your head like little mosquitoes.
When someone else is always in control, it’s hard to relax and trust that you can do the right thing yourself.
The world seems a more uncertain place when you’re not used to navigating it on your own, and now have no one else to fall back on.
But it’s important to remember that it’s okay to feel anxious.
The trick is not to let fear control you.
Instead, acknowledge it, accept it, and then take steps to deal with it by learning how to have confidence in yourself and regulate your own emotions.
4) Excessively responsible
Are you tempted to take responsibility and say sorry, even for things you had no part in?
Growing up in an environment where you were often held responsible for outcomes over which you had little to no control, you learned to carry burdens that were not your own.
But remember: it’s not your job to fix everything or ensure a perfect result.
It’s okay to let go and realize that you can’t control everything (no matter how hard that seems).
After all, life is unpredictable, and that’s what makes it so beautiful.
5) Difficulty establishing close relationships
When your mother/father is at your best, being a child can be the best thing in the world.
But take Jeannette McCurdy’s big hit, ‘I’m Glad My Mom Died’.
Growing up as a teenage star with a mother on her hip, she then struggled to escape parental ties and make her own friends. Her own relationships.
If you had overly controlling parents you may also find it challenging to create deep connections with others.
Maybe you’re hesitant to open up and share your feelings, or you worry too much about how others see you, or even you worry that your parents will feel lonely if you put your own life away from them.
Learning how to trust non-family members takes time, so take small steps to open up to others.
Over time, you will find that forming close bonds becomes easier and that you can make your way in the world.
6) Constant self-doubt
Having overbearing parents often means that little self-criticism in your head becomes louder and louder, filled with worries about your perfectionism, self-doubt, and anxiety.
Am I good enough?
Am I too much for them?
Do they like me?
If you grew up with parents who constantly controlled your actions, that might be true dealing with self-doubt. It’s like having an internal critic who never takes a day off.
But here’s what you need to do to slowly get your head around…
You are enough. Just the way you are.
And every time that voice of self-doubt whispers in your ear, remind yourself of this truth.
Over time, you will learn to quiet that critic and embrace the wonderful person that you are.
7) Fear of failure
For those who grew up with controlling parents, failure can often seem like the worst possible outcome.
Because you’ve learned to avoid this at all costs, you probably now have a deep-seated fear of making mistakes or not living up to expectations.
Expectations are impossibly high from your parents…
But know that failure is not a monster to be feared. It is a mentor who slowly leads us to growth and improvement.
So no matter how difficult it may seem to deal with it after you’ve learned to withdraw from it, learn from it and let it propel you on your journey.
About being the child of helicopter parents.
Recognizing these qualities in yourself can feel overwhelming and somewhat hopeless.
But remember: understanding is the first step to change.
These qualities do not define you at all. They are just the product of your past experiences. They bring a lot of courage and determination, but also a lot of trauma and adversity.
And with a little self-awareness and effort, these elements can take shape again.
It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight, but by slowly working toward your goal every day, you’ll be one step closer to taking control of your own life.
Ultimately you will come out stronger and more self-confident; ready to embrace life with open arms and newfound resilience.
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