Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.
CODDLING OF CHILDREN TO AN EXTREME DEGREE
INFANTILIZATION AND RISK AVERSIVE BEHAVIOR IN CHILDREN
INFANTILIZED CHILDREN AS ADULTS
Children Who are Babied to the Extreme Degree
There is a rising phenomena in the latter twentieth and early twenty first centuries regarding parenting methodology. This is called the helicopter and intrusive parent. These parents believe in shielding their children from the harsher aspects of life.
Helicopter and intrusive parents often oversupervise and overmonitor their children as to be aware of their whereabouts. It is not uncommon for such parents to consistently page their children on their cellphones. These parents want their children to have the least stressfree, carefree, and perfect childhoods as possible. However, these parents are creating infantilized children.
Infantilized children is a growing phenomena of socioeconomically affluent parents who have the monies and time to overindulge and overprotect their children. These children are so closely monitored by their parents i.e. they are not allowed to play independently but must be constantly supervised by their parents in play groups. If they are not enrolled in play groups, they are overscheduled into myriad activities still under adult supervision.
Infantilized children are so monitored by their parents that they are often apprehensive of initiating activities on their own. Even though these children are highly intelligent, they are behind in their skills such as tying their own shoes and in related age appropriate activities because their parents do everything for them. These children are extremely dependent at a time when they should be slowly establishing a route to gradual independence.
Infantilized children are accustomed to having their parents dictate almost every aspect of their lives to them. Many helicopter and intrusive parents maintain that their children are too young and/or not knowledgeable enough to make intelligent and/or mature decisions. As a result of this philosophy, the infantilized child is not allowed to make decisions and mistakes which are growth opportunities.
Even though the infantilized child can occur in any family size, it is more prevalent in small families where parents have the economic, emotional, and financial resources to closely monitor their children. Many parents of small families view their children as precious jewels to be protected against the harshness of life. These parents often overplan their children's lives as to include events and activities which they believe are conducive to their children's development.
Infantlized children are not allowed to have a normal childhood of exploration like other children are. They are constantly being bombarded by their parents that the outside environment is too dangerous and it is not good to be by yourself and/or without an adult. These are the children whose parents or other adult caretakers are always accompanying them at a level which is age inappropriate.
For example, when I was in the eighth grade, there was a male classmate whose mother always accompanied him to school. When classes were ended, his mother or father met him to take him home! He was not allowed to participate in any unsupervised activities, be it extracurricular. neighborhood, and/or other activities!
Infantilized children do not have the toughness nor instinctual survival skills of children who grew up in less protective environments. These children have poor or no survival mechanisms required for daily interactions. They are often the subject for bullies who can sense their extreme passivity and vulnerability.
Infantilized children are very risk aversive as they were not encouraged to take necessary growth enhancing risks during their formative years. Their parents performed the so-called more difficult activities for them because they did not want them to fail and/or experience frustration. The average helicopter and intrusive parent believe that it is abusive to subject their child to difficulties and frustration!
Infantilized children have a very low tolerance of frustration and failure. They believe that life is to be as unencumbered and stressfree as possible. Many teachers and other early education specialists are dismayed at the rise in the percentage of infantilized children in their midst. They are astonished that these children often do not have the prerequisite rudimentary skills to succeed in school. If there is any problem, the parent immediate solves the problem and often blame the teacher, instead of believing that maybe their child has a problem which should be remedied.
Infantilized children because of their upbringing, believe that they can do no wrong thus having a sense of entitlement. They further believe that life should easy and if it is not, they do not have the resources to be resilient. In fact, they become quite evasive as they are unable to cope with the downside of life.
Infantilized children are of the opinion that the world revolves around them. Empathy is a foreign word to the infantlized child. He/she is accustomed to having everything done for him/her that he/she develops a selfish attitude, believing that no one else matters but him/her!
Infantilized children also expect to be rescued from any adverse situation they are in. Accepting responsibility and being proactive is not a concept in their philosophy. It is de rigueur to have their parents and other adult figures to consistently solve their problems for them!
In spite of the sense of entitlement, many infantilized children feel that they are inept and not confident to solve their problems. They are often poor decision makers and self-starters. This does not make them fare well in the work world where one must be able to make tough decisions and to be a self-starter regarding tasks. Infantilized children often make poor employees who are subsequently terminated and become unemployable if they elect not to improve their behavior!
In summation, the infantilized child is a rising phenomena in the latter twentieth and early twenty first century among more socioeconomically affluent parents who have the economic means to monitor and supervise their children. Even though the infantilized child can occur within any family size, it is more prevalent in small families because parents have more time and resources to devote to the raising of their small number of children. Infantilized children are protected to such an extreme degree that they are become risk aversive and do not develop the survival skills necessary to interface with the world.
There are other detriments to being an infantilized child such as having an extremely low tolerance for frustration. Infantilized children often do not develop into being independent thinkers and decision makers, skills which are required if one is to succeed and thrive in the work arena. Infantilized children because they are averse to responsibility, are often poor employees who eventually are fired and/or become unemployable if their behavior is not remedied and they are not trained to become more independent!