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Published on July 15, 2020

50 Best Books for 6 Year Olds to Make Them Love Reading

50 Best Books for 6 Year Olds to Make Them Love Reading

According to a study published in Pediatrics[1], children who have been read to during the earliest stages of their lives by their parents showed significantly greater activation of the brain. In addition to this remarkable physical effect, books teach children about relationships, personalities, and what is good and what is bad in the world they live in. The best books for 6 year olds can help.

While fantasy books encourage imagination and free play, fairy tales fascinate kids and help them distinguish between what is real and what is not. With that said, we’ve compiled the best books for 6 year olds to attract them to the world of books and to help them develop the habit of reading in the long run.

Why You Should Trust Us

From highly praised books by Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, XpressReviews to New York Times Best Sellers, our list covers the 50 best books for 6 year olds to make them love reading even more. We’ve made sure that the topics vary, touching different aspects of a child’s life, such as expression of nature and animal love, friendship, mystery, family values, and, of course, humor and fun! You can be sure that all these books will be beneficial to your child’s cognitive development and emotional intelligence.

1. If Animals Kissed Good Night

    The charming illustrations in this book by Ann Whitford Paul paint a perfect picture of how certain animals kiss their offspring goodnight. This book instills into the little one the names of various animals, their baby’s names, the sound they make, and their body parts.

    Get the book here.

    2. I’ve Loved You Since Forever

      This book by Hoda Kotb is an excellent depiction of a parent’s devotion to their child. It illustrates that the parent and child share a special bond that extends to before childbirth. The book incorporates simple text and heartwarming pictures of animals and babies.

      Get the book here.

      3. The Wonderful Things You Will Be

        Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic writing exhibits all the beautiful things that parents think about their children. This book embodies artistic and humorous illustrations that captivate both children and adults alike.

        Get the book here.

        4. God Gave Us You

          Lisa Tawn Bergren depicts a tale of a charming young polar bear cub who asks her mother a question of great importance—where did she come from? The mama bear’s response reassures all the little ones and communicates the exact message that they want to hear.

          Get the book here.

          5. 365 Bedtime Stories and Rhymes

            This story-time treasure from Cottage Door Press incorporates over 50 well-loved stories and rhymes, much to the delight of the little ones. It allows a different story to fill the wild imagination of the children every night before bedtime, making this one of the best books for 6 year olds.

            Get the book here.

            6. Grumpy Monkey

              Jim, the chimpanzee’s friend, cannot comprehend why he is in a bad mood when it’s so beautiful outside. The moral of this book by Suzanne Lang is that sometimes it’s okay to feel down, as long as you aren’t hurting someone in the process.

              Get the book here.

              7. Where the Wild Things Are

                Maurice Sendak’s award-winning picture book delineates the story of Max, a naughty boy who is sent to bed without his supper by his mother. Max then imagines running away to a land of Wild Things where everything is the total opposite of what he expected.

                Get the book here.

                8. InvestiGators

                  This goofy picture novel by John Patrick Green revolves around the lives of two alligators who happen to be InvestiGators. These InvestiGators have a case on their hands, which they solve with the help of their Very Exciting Spy Technology.

                  Get the book here.

                  9. Ronan the Librarian

                    The sister duo Tara Lubbe and Becky Cattie came up with the hilarious tales of Ronan the barbarian who somehow became a librarian when he found a book somewhere.

                    Get the book here.

                    10. Ways to Make Sunshine

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                      Ryan Hart, a pure spirited girl, has a lot on her mind. The money around the house is tight; therefore, complications arise daily. This book by Renee Watson beautifully depicts the story of this young Black girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks, landing easily on our list of best books for 6 year olds.

                      Get the book here.

                      11. Our Friend Hedgehog

                        This book by Lauren Castillo depicts the life of a hedgehog who lives on a small island with only her stuffed dog, Mutty. Her life is completely changed when a great storm blows Mutty away. If she wants Mutty back, her only option is to embark on a dangerous quest.

                        Get the book here.

                        12. We’re Different, We’re the Same

                          This book by Bobbi Kates features Elmo and his Sesame Street friends and teaches young children and adults alike a vital lesson: although we might look different on the outside, deep down we are very similar.

                          Get the book here.

                          13. I Am Enough

                            This book by Grace Byers is a lyrical ode that teaches children the significance of self-love, respecting others, and treating others with respect. Furthermore, it conveys the message that our existence has a purpose.

                            Get the book here.

                            14. Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

                              Dr. Seuss’ well-known book’s hilarious verses and illustrations depict the ups and downs that occur in life. It encourages the readers to find the success that lies within and never to give up. A list of best books for 6 year olds simply wouldn’t be complete without Dr. Seuss!

                              Get the book here.

                              15. The Day You Begin

                                The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson reminds us that feeling different is entirely acceptable. Sometimes, we all feel like outsiders, yet we are brave enough to deal with the situation. If we reach out to others, we’ll find that they will gladly meet us halfway.

                                Get the book here.

                                16. The World Needs More Purple People

                                  Renowned actress Kristen Bell and director Benjamin Hart try to instill into the reader that Purple People are exemplary as they bring their family, friends, and communities together. They are kind and speak up for what’s right.

                                  Get the book here.

                                  17. Hair Love

                                    This book by Matthew A. Cherry portrays the story of Zuri’s hair, which has a mind of its own. It curls and coils in whichever way it wishes. Daddy then steps in to style it one day, but he has a lot to learn.

                                    Get the book here.

                                    18. When God Made You

                                      Children long to find their place in the world. Through playful rhyme, this book by Matthew Paul Turner assures them they are deeply loved in every sphere of life, so as to help them spread their wings and fly.

                                      Get the book here.

                                      19. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

                                        In this humorous picture book by Mo Willems, a pigeon springs up to take the place of a bus driver when he takes a break from his route. But this pigeon is quite special indeed.

                                        Get the book here.

                                        20. Julian Is a Mermaid

                                          This exuberant picture book by Jessica Love flawlessly illustrates how Julian reacts when he notices three women dressed spectacularly. Julian wishes to dress like the three women but contemplates what the others would think of him. This is one book that should absolutely be on any list of best books for 6 year olds.

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                                          Get the book here.

                                          21. Dog Man

                                            This story by Dav Pilkey of a part-dog, part-man crime-biting canine is quite exhilarating. The three-book boxed set is quite appealing to readers and explores positive traits such as empathy, persistence, kindness, and self-importance.

                                            Get the book here.

                                            22. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

                                              This is a story of Penelope Rex by Ryan T. Higgins. It’s her first day of school, and she is excited to meet her new classmates. But for her, it’s quite hard to make new friends, as they are so darn delicious.

                                              Get the book here.

                                              23. Bob Books

                                                Bob Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen are explicitly written to build the little one’s reading skills. They incorporate colorful illustrations that make reading even more fun. Children will love each of these twelve books that are filled with drama, fun, and humorous stories.

                                                Get the book here.

                                                24. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

                                                  Another classic by Dr. Seuss, this book incorporates silly rhymes that leave every child giggling. It includes simple words and illustrations that encourage children to read all by themselves.

                                                  Get the book here.

                                                  25. NarWhal: Unicorn of the Sea!

                                                    NarWhal the narwhal and Jelly jellyfish share an unusual bond. They might not have much in common, but they do like to party, eat waffles, and embark on adventures. This book by Ben Clanton is about two friends as they discover the whole ocean together.

                                                    Get the book here.

                                                    26. How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans

                                                      This book by David LaRochelle illustrates Martha’s hatred for green beans. When some mean green beans kidnap Martha’s parents, it is up to her to save her parents and prevent the evil veggies from taking over her town.

                                                      Get the book here.

                                                      27. Uni the Unicorn

                                                        The magical story by Amy Krouse Rosenthal depicts the life of Uni the unicorn, who is told that there is no such thing as little girls. But he believes there is a girl out there, waiting to befriend him. This book reminds us that even the wildest of the wishes can sometimes come true.

                                                        Get the book here.

                                                        28. Ada Twist, Scientist

                                                          Ada Twist, a scientist, has always been curious. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie her mind has always been full of questions. This book by Andrea Beaty conveys an essential message that even if things don’t go according to plan, it’s important to continue thinking through the problem and remain curious.

                                                          Get the book here.

                                                          29. Iggy Peck, Architect

                                                            In another great story by Andrea Beaty, we meet Iggy Peck. Ever since Iggy was a baby, he has built towers, buildings, and bridges. This skill of his comes in handy when his class is stranded on an island during a picnic.

                                                            Get the book here.

                                                            30. Zoo in the Sky

                                                              This tale by Jacqueline Mitton takes you on a journey where you get to see Little and the Great Bear, a scaly dragon, the Great Dog, and many other animals.

                                                              Get the book here.

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                                                              31. Pete the Cat

                                                                Pete the Cat is an interactive experience for kids by James Dean. It’s a story about a cat who goes walking down the street wearing his brand-new white shoes. As he treads, his shoes change color as he steps in a pile of strawberries and other fruits.

                                                                Get the book here.

                                                                32. Penny and Her Marble

                                                                  When Penny found a marble in Mrs. Goodwin’s front yard, she picked it up, dusted it off, and took it home with her. But did the marble really belong to Penny? Find out in this book by Kevin Henkes, one of the best books for 6 year olds.

                                                                  Get the book here.

                                                                  33. Madame Badobedah

                                                                    When a very old lady with bags stuffed with coins and jewelry arrives at the Mermaid Hotel, Mabel’s parents, the owners of the hotel, are suspicious of her. The moral of this story by Sophie Dahl is how first impressions can sometimes be quite contrary to reality.

                                                                    Get the book here.

                                                                    34. Magnificent Homespun Brown

                                                                      This book by Samara Cole Doyon incorporates vivid illustrations and encourages the reader to embrace his/her natural skin color. In addition to that, it includes a carol that promotes the message of self-care and self-love.

                                                                      Get the book here.

                                                                      35. Fox and Rabbit

                                                                        An easy-going fox and an anxious rabbit make a somewhat unexpected but perfect pair when planting a tree in their own backyard or searching for hidden treasure. There’s nothing that this duo can’t do when together in this great book by Beth Ferry.

                                                                        Get the book here.

                                                                        36. Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem

                                                                          Stella Endicott is enthralled when her teacher asks the class to write a poem. Stella comes up with a beautiful poem, but her irritating classmate insists that her poetry is a bunch of lies. They both end up in an argument and then sent to the principal’s office in this tale by Kate Dicamillo.

                                                                          Get the book here.

                                                                          37. Peter & Ernesto: Sloths in the Night

                                                                            This book by Graham Annable features the lives of two sloths who love the jungle. They are aware of how jungles can be dangerous at night. When their friend goes missing, they gather their trustees and embark upon the quest to find their friend.

                                                                            Get the book here.

                                                                            38. The Magnificent Makers: How to Test a Friendship

                                                                              This is a story of two best friends who love science. When a magic portal to the Science Space opens at school, they set out to explore it. This book by Theanne Griffith covers scientific topics that a child learns in school every day.

                                                                              Get the book here.

                                                                              39. Real Pigeons Fight Crime

                                                                                Crime-fighting pigeons are real. They secretly protect your neighborhood and fight crime all the time. Beautifully illustrated, this gem of a comedy by Andrew McDonald is hilarious and leaves the reader in a fit of tears.

                                                                                Get the book here.

                                                                                40. Paolo, Emperor of Rome

                                                                                  This picture book depicts the life of Paolo, a dachshund who is trapped in a hair salon in Rome. When he escapes one day, he goes and lives life the way he always dreamt it. This book by Mac Barnett, landing comfortably on our list of best books for 6 year olds, will leave readers cheering for the little creature.

                                                                                  Get the book here.

                                                                                  41. Baloney and Friends

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                                                                                    In this graphic novel series, Greg Pizolli introduces Baloney and his friends, who engage the reader as they perform some questionable magic. They encourage the reader to give them a boost when they are feeling down. This highly interactive book will undoubtedly be entertaining for your little one.

                                                                                    Get the book here.

                                                                                    42. This Way, Charlie

                                                                                      This tale by Caron Levis about Jack and Charlie is heart-warming. Jack likes to remain distant from the rest of the animals at the Open Bud Ranch, but when Charlie arrives, a powerful friendship begins between the two.

                                                                                      Get the book here.

                                                                                      43. Everyone’s Awake

                                                                                        This cleverly rhymed picture book by Colin Meloy depicts the story of a household and their simple goodnight routine that leaves not just the little one but the entire family in stitches with laughter.

                                                                                        Get the book here.

                                                                                        44. Charlie & Mouse Outdoors

                                                                                          This hilarious book by Laurel Snyder features Charlie and Mouse, two inseparable brothers. The duo, along with their family, embarks on a series of adventures in which they do all sorts of mind-blowing stuff.

                                                                                          Get the book here.

                                                                                          45. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

                                                                                            This inspirational text by Vashti Harrison is an essential book suitable for all ages. It features true stories of forty pioneering black women in American history and their will to never give up.

                                                                                            Get the book here.

                                                                                            46. Sulwe

                                                                                              Lupita Nyong’o, an Academy Award-winning actress, wrote this book about Sulwe, who has the skin color of midnight. In this picture book, she tries to instill in the children the importance of self-esteem and self-love, and encourages them to see their own unique beauty. The incorporation of these lessons make this one of the absolutely best books for 6 year olds.

                                                                                              Get the book here.

                                                                                              47. All Are Welcome

                                                                                                This book by Alexandra Penfold portrays life in a school where everyone is welcome. In this school, the children are allowed to wear hijabs, parkas, and yarmulkes. The moral of this book is that diversity should be celebrated.

                                                                                                Get the book here.

                                                                                                48. The Giving Tree

                                                                                                  This beautifully written and illustrated book by Shel Silverstein is a masterpiece. It includes the story of a tree who ends up being a shade provider and apple bearer for a boisterous little child.

                                                                                                  Get the book here.

                                                                                                  49. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Do-It-Yourself Book

                                                                                                    This book by Jeff Kinney enables your child to write his/her own version of the Wimpy Kid journal. It encourages the little one to draw Wimpy-Kid-style cartoons and comics inside and will entertain your little artist for hours.

                                                                                                    Get the book here.

                                                                                                    50. The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance

                                                                                                      Charlie’s racehorse, Noddy, has won the Derby against all the odds and even bested a bunch of kidnappers. But he faces his biggest challenge yet. Will Charlie and Polly be able to teach Noddy how to gallop? Find out in this exciting book by Clare Balding.

                                                                                                      Get the book here.

                                                                                                      More Books for Children

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Josh Applegate via unsplash.com

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                                                                                                      Published on July 23, 2020

                                                                                                      11 Signs You’re an Overprotective Parent (And What to Do About It)

                                                                                                      11 Signs You’re an Overprotective Parent (And What to Do About It)

                                                                                                      Have you ever followed your child around the playground? They may have been a toddler and you were worried they would take the wrong step and fall off the jungle gym. Therefore, you followed your toddler around, keeping them within arm’s reach so that you could prevent them from falling or having an accident.

                                                                                                      I have been that parent at the playground in the past. With twin boys who had no fear as toddlers, I would follow them onto playground equipment because I was concerned for their safety.

                                                                                                      After a few months of doing this, I stopped. I came to realize that children need to learn through their own experiences. They will fall, but they will also learn how to avoid danger and make calculated judgments about risks through their experiences. If I was always there to stop them from falling, they wouldn’t learn to stop themselves.

                                                                                                      They had to learn things on their own. Of course, as a parent, it is still my responsibility to not place them in situations where they could be terribly injured.

                                                                                                      For example, we started at playgrounds that were intended for children under the age of five. We didn’t move up to the big playgrounds until they were old enough and aware of their behaviors and the risks involved in playground play activities.

                                                                                                      Why Parents Become Overprotective

                                                                                                      The intention of overprotective parenting is well-meaning. These types of parents are highly concerned about their children’s safety and decision making. Their ultimate goal is to protect their child from harm. Parents should be concerned about the safety and well-being of their children.

                                                                                                      However, on the flip side, parents should also be teaching their children about risk and responsibility. Those lessons are best taught through life experience. If we are always following behind our children, ready to catch them at a moment’s notice, then we aren’t allowing them to learn about risk and responsibility.

                                                                                                      Unger, a researcher on overprotective parenting, suggests that parents should allow children to participate in activities on their own that are considered low-risk.[1] This means allowing children to engage in activities on their own that provide “manageable amounts of risk and responsibility.”

                                                                                                      Unger cited that parents have become increasingly more protective of their children and are much more watchful of their children’s activities than previous generations.

                                                                                                      The problem with being an overprotective parent is that the child misses out on the opportunity to build responsible behavior skills, build autonomy, and develop self-esteem. Their confidence can be undermined when mom or dad are always watching and guiding their behavior.

                                                                                                      They can develop a sense that they are unable to make their own good decisions because they are never allowed to do so in life. Their confidence and self-esteem are hindered when they aren’t allowed to do things on their own without their parents hovering or watching over them.

                                                                                                      What Are the Signs of an Overprotective Parent?

                                                                                                      Parents with overly protective tendencies think that they are helping their child. Their goal is to protect their child, but it goes to the extreme. Below are some ways that a parent can be overly protective.

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                                                                                                      This type of behavior can end up harming their child’s development when one or more of these behaviors is present. There are likely other ways that a parent can be overprotective of their child, as this list is not comprehensive.

                                                                                                      These are examples so you can assess your behavior to determine if you need to loosen up overly protective parenting habits.

                                                                                                      1. You choose your child’s friends or direct them toward friendships with particular children.
                                                                                                      2. You don’t allow them to do activities on their own. For example, not allowing them to walk the dog in front of your home even though you live in a safe neighborhood and could even watch them from the front window.
                                                                                                      3. You are constantly monitoring your child. For example, you show up at their sports practices often to check in and see how they are doing or you go online to check their grades every week to ensure that they don’t have any missing work in any classes. If they do have missing work, you make sure that they get it completed and turned in before their final grade can be affected.
                                                                                                      4. You prevent them from making mistakes when you can see that they are going to make a low-risk mistake. For example, not allowing your five-year-old to put ketchup on their pancakes because you know they are going to dislike it and ruin their breakfast. You won’t allow them to chose to make such a mistake because you know that they will cry and get upset and you want to prevent them from becoming emotionally upset.
                                                                                                      5. You don’t allow them to go to friend’s homes without you.
                                                                                                      6. Sleepovers at other homes or camps are never allowed during their childhood.
                                                                                                      7. You drill them with questions about their life when they are out of your sight, such as wanting to know about all the details of their school day every day when you pick them up from school.
                                                                                                      8. You guide them to the extent that they are prevented from failing. For example, not allowing your teen to try out for the basketball team because you know that they will not make the cut.
                                                                                                      9. You make their decisions for them. For example, you don’t allow them to choose whether they can walk to school or ride the bus. You drive them and do not allow for any decision outside of this because you want to keep them safe.
                                                                                                      10. You are always volunteering to serve in their school classroom or chaperone the school trips because you want to “keep an eye on what is going on in your child’s class”.
                                                                                                      11. You do not allow them to have secrets or privacy. For example, they are not allowed to have a locked diary that you do not read or you don’t allow them to lock their bedroom door ever.

                                                                                                      Why Being Overprotective Is Not a Good Idea

                                                                                                      Kids learn from natural consequences. If they are not allowed to have natural consequences because their parent is continually protecting them from failure and harm, their development is being hindered.

                                                                                                      For example, let’s look at a child named Sally who is 13. She is a child who is overly managed by her parents and is not allowed to go to sleepovers or even go to another friend’s home. Her parents are worried about stranger danger and what can happen if they are not with their child.

                                                                                                      Sally is allowed to have friends at her home, but her parents are always watching the kids. Whenever Sally and her friends begin to disagree, the argument is squelched before the children can even begin to work things out between themselves because Sally’s parents will intervene and solve the problem.

                                                                                                      Sally is never alone with friends outside of school because her parents are always present. The presence of her parents in her socialization is hindering her development.

                                                                                                      She doesn’t know how to work out disagreements between her peers because she has never been allowed the opportunity to even try. Her social skills are lacking because parents intervene to direct her behavior while she is with her friends.

                                                                                                      Kids Need Space and Time

                                                                                                      Kids need space and time to be independent while they are children. If Sally were to be left alone with her friends, her friends would eventually push back at her bossy behavior when her parents are not present.

                                                                                                      However, because Sally’s parents are always present she gets away with being overly-bossy to her friends. She is not learning about the natural consequences of her bossiness but someday will when it may be difficult to change her behaviors as she is older in more set in her ways.

                                                                                                      It is easier to learn through natural consequences at a young age. Sally will likely end up going to therapy as an adult because she can’t keep friendships intact. Her bossy behaviors and lack of awareness have led to her having severed friendships repeatedly as a young adult.

                                                                                                      She will have to work with a therapist to uncover the reason why she is losing friends and then work to change her behavior to learn better ways to act towards her friends in the future.

                                                                                                      Effects of Overprotection

                                                                                                      There are a variety of effects of overprotective parenting. It is often dependent on the methods the parent utilizes and the extent of the overprotective behavior.

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                                                                                                      For example, let’s look at Tina who is a girl age 10. She wants to run and participate in her school’s after-school competitive track program. However, she is not allowed to participate in after school activities because her parents are worried that she will be exposed to boys and may start having relationships with the opposite sex too young.

                                                                                                      Another concern is that a boy may “take advantage” of their daughter, so they want to protect her from being exposed to boys outside of school and their supervision.

                                                                                                      The problem with this is that Tina is missing out on participating in a sports activity that could help her develop friendships. She is also missing out on the opportunities associated with being a part of a team, working hard physically to compete, and developing sportsmanship skills.

                                                                                                      Her parents are well-meaning, but their over-protection is preventing her from participating in a sports activity that she deeply desires to engage in.

                                                                                                      There are other effects of overprotective parenting. Below are some examples.

                                                                                                      Examples of Overprotective Parenting

                                                                                                      This list is not comprehensive, as every parenting situation and family is unique. However, this list can help provide some insight into the detrimental effects that overprotective parenting can cause.

                                                                                                      1. Lack of Self-Esteem Development

                                                                                                      If children are not allowed to try things on their own, they cannot build self-confidence and self-esteem.

                                                                                                      2. Lack of Autonomy

                                                                                                      If a child is always accustomed to having a parent around and supervising their behavior, they can become dependent on the decision making of their parents because they are never allowed to be alone or do things alone.

                                                                                                      3. Anxiety

                                                                                                      A child who is never allowed to try to do things on their own can become anxious when they are finally allowed to try things out on their own. They worry about making mistakes or failing because they have continually had a parent to help them avoid mistakes and failure.

                                                                                                      4. Lack of Responsibility

                                                                                                      When parents are always helping and guiding their children to an extreme, children will fail to develop their own responsibility skills. If they are never held responsible for anything, how can they develop a sense of responsibility?

                                                                                                      5. People-Pleasing Tendencies

                                                                                                      Youniverse explained that children who have overprotective parents who constantly direct their children’s behavior end up seeking the approval of those in their life.[2] These children will grow up accustomed to someone always telling them what the “right behavior” looks like.

                                                                                                      If they don’t have that praise or comfort of someone saying they did things right, they can become anxious or depressed. They become people-pleasers who seek the appraisal of others.

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                                                                                                      6. Risky Behavior

                                                                                                      When children are raised in an overly protective home, they often engage in risky behavior when the reigns are lifted. They haven’t experienced the failures associated with low-risk situations at a younger age because of their overly protective parents.

                                                                                                      Therefore, when they get older, access to high-risk situations becomes more easily accessible, and without understanding high risk versus low-risk situations, they engage without the wisdom of previous experiences.

                                                                                                      Because of their inexperience with risks in general, they may engage in high risk because they are unaware of consequences.

                                                                                                      7. Diminished Development Regarding Fear, Social Skills, and Coping Skills

                                                                                                      Psychology Today explains that children with overprotective parents have developmental issues, such as not being able to deal with stress and poor social skills.[3]

                                                                                                      For example, a child who isn’t allowed to play on a playground because the parent wants to protect their child from injury is prevented from learning about risk-taking on the playground and the bumps and bruises from consequences.

                                                                                                      Such a child may grow up to either having too much fear because it was instilled by their parents or have no fear because they have no concept of high-risk versus low-risk behavior.

                                                                                                      8. Lack of Immunity

                                                                                                      The Psychology Today article also explained that children who have overly protective parents that do not allow exposure to germs can become children who have a compromised immune system. Exposure to germs as children is needed for them to develop a healthy immune system naturally.

                                                                                                      When parents are disinfecting everything the child encounters and not allowing exposure to germs (e.g., not allowing them to go to a petting zoo or to play in the sandbox because of the germs in those places), they can be stunting their child’s ability to develop their immune system.

                                                                                                      9. Control Freaks

                                                                                                      Children who have been parented by control freaks learn this behavior from their parents. Parents are the primary role model of behavior for their children. If children see their parents acting as though they must have control over others and every situation at all times, then they too will learn to behave in this same manner.

                                                                                                      What to Do If You Are an Overprotective Parent

                                                                                                      If after reading this content you feel that you may be an overprotective parent, there is hope. You can change.

                                                                                                      It begins with loosening the reigns of control over your child in a calculated and reasonable manner. Allowing for low-risk behaviors and the consequences involved can help your child become more independent.

                                                                                                      There is definitely a balance to protective versus overprotective parenting. Allowing for activities and exposure to experiences that are low-risk is a good way to start.

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                                                                                                      For example, allowing your child to play on age-appropriate playground equipment (without following them) is a good first step. They will experience some bumps and bruises, but this is a part of normal development and learning about consequences.

                                                                                                      You will want to research authoritative parenting methods if you feel you are an overprotective parent. Overprotective parents tend to be authoritarian parents.

                                                                                                      Here is a LifeHack article I previously wrote about authoritarian parenting, so you can understand the drawbacks to this parenting method: Authoritarian Parenting.

                                                                                                      Authoritative parenting is not control-based parenting. It involves teaching consequences naturally, allowing age-appropriate decision-making, and having conversations with children rather than dictating for ultimate control and compliance.

                                                                                                      MSU Extension provides some great guidelines for authoritative parenting.[4] Below are some of the behaviors they described with authoritative parenting methods:

                                                                                                      • Provide reasonable, age-appropriate expectations for children.
                                                                                                      • Stress and anxiety for children can have positive outcomes, as they are allowed to experience these feelings in small doses as children. They can then build their coping skills and ability to deal with stress and anxiety through experience.
                                                                                                      • Encourage independence, as it helps children build their confidence and self-esteem.
                                                                                                      • Allowing for failures when they are young helps them learn how to pick themselves back up and try again. Developing this ability at a young age regularly will help prepare them for bigger failures when they are older, such as breakups, failed classes, or losing a job.

                                                                                                      Final Thoughts

                                                                                                      It is never too late to work on our parenting skills. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, therefore, we can always be working on improving our parenting methods.

                                                                                                      We all want our children to be successful, happy, and competent as adults. It does not happen overnight. Parenting is a continual process of trying daily to help our children live and learn through their own life experiences.

                                                                                                      If we try to protect them every step of the way, then they are not being allowed to truly experience life.

                                                                                                      Allow for age-appropriate experiences and allow for failures so that they can learn how to pick themselves back up and try again.

                                                                                                      More Tips on Effective Parenting

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Sue Zeng via unsplash.com

                                                                                                      Reference

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