Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.
Being Set Up For Failure
This hub is in response to the spot on analytical request, "Are sheltered children less apt to grow up and be less successful in life?" by hubber badegg.
The majority of parents want the best life for their childhoods. This is natural and is part of being a loving and concerned parents. Parents want their children to have a better life than they do. Many of them make enormous sacrifices to make it so for their children.
However, some parents take this to the extreme. There are parents who believe that their children should have everything they want. In addition to that, they further contend that their children's lives should be as unencumbered as possible. They feel that it is horrendous and totally abhorrent that their children should suffer and/or undergo any type of frustration and/or privation. They feel that children should be children completely.
To these parents, it means that children should never be exposed to the negative and harsh side of life. They maintain that life should be rosy for their children at all times. They vehemently argue that children are fragile beings who will be become quite unhinged if they experience any form of negativity. They feel that parents who let their children experience any type of frustration and/or negativity, even if it is a minute degree, are horrifically abusive.
These are the parents who refuse to let their children play unsupervised. They feel that children who play unsupervised are likely to get hurt or worse. They believe that their children can never be overprotected. They feel that it is their duty as parents to make sure that their children are never harmed and will take every precaution to do so.
While a certain amount of caution on the part of a parent is intelligent and wise, being overly cautious is no good for children's emotional development. Children, within certain limits, should be allowed to explore and interact with their environment. That is how they learn and mature as individuals.
Overprotective and overly cautious parents believe that they are benefiting their children by shielding them from life foibles. They also contend that their children should have as little to no responsibilities as possible. These are parents who take umbrage at their children doing chores. They see children who perform chores as missing out on their childhood. They maintain that children have enough time to do chores and assume other responsibilities when they are grown. After all, they argue, that is what childhood is for- being totally FREE.
These parents are the ones who make decisions for their children's lives. They believe that children should not be inundated with problematic situations. They feel that childhood = no problems. They maintain that if there is a problem, THEY will resolve it. These parents feel that it is nothing doing homework for their children and generally, doing things that they should be doing for themselves. They feel that it is totally horrendous for a child to undergo any type of frustration and angst of any kind. They contend that children who undergo such angst experience trauma and other psychological issues in childhood which carries unto adolescence and adulthood.
As earnest and good hearted these parents believe they are, they are only doing their children a severe and grave disservice by sheltering and shielding them from life's foibles. Children who are sheltered tend to be developmental behind. The average sheltered children are developmentally years behind their chronological age. They are often emotionally and psychologically immature.
Typical sheltered children act younger than their chronological ages. To say that they are emotionally and developmentally behind less sheltered children is delineating the matter quite matter of factly. Teachers in nursery school find sheltered children to be lacking in interfacing with other children and other important motor skills. Many teachers discovered that they have to be almost full time parents to pupils who are sheltered by their parents.
The same situation applies to elementary school teachers. They find that they have to be teachers and parents to children whose parents overprotect and do everything for pupils, failing to teach their children rudimentary life and survival skills e.g. tying their own shoes. These teachers, like nursery school teachers, perform tasks for such children that they should be doing for themselves. They have to perform these elementary skills which often distracts from them performing more important tasks.
It goes without saying that since sheltered children act younger than their chronological age, they are bereft of age-related life and survival skills. This leaves them highly vulnerable to stronger children who can and do take advantage of them. Such children are also prey to bullies who tend to pick up children who are weak and vulnerable.
Other children feel such children to be quite immature and not independent enough for their respective ages. Furthermore, since the average sheltered child is under severe strictures by his/her parents, he/she is bound to have very few friends. Many sheltered children are deemed to be quite unpopular with other children. Other children are loathe to associate with them because of their low risk tolerance.
Sheltered children experience more problems once they approach their adolescent years. Adolescence is a period when children become increasingly independent and autonomous from their parents. Many parents react with apprehension that their children are burgeoning adults who will soon separate from them and lead their own lives. However, with overprotective and/or overly cautious parents, adolescence is filled with angst to the ultimate degree. These parents simply do not want their children to grow up at all. They want their children to be their little ones forever.
Sheltered adolescents oftentimes feel as if they are treated like children instead of adolescents. Many of them are chaperoned and/or strictly supervised by their parents at a time where there should be a lessening of parental supervision. Adolescence is a time to test and explore wider boundaries. This is natural and normal behavior. Adolescents must establish their own identity separate of that from the parents. Adolescence is a time to develop a more adult and mature identity and there is more of a concentration of peer relationships than on the parent-child relationship. Parenting roles during this time have to evolve, taking into consideration the change from child to adolescent.
Somehow this is totally amiss on the overprotective and/or overly cautious parents. Oftentimes, these parents exert a tighter rein over their adolescent children. They believe that the tween and teenage years are more dangerous and precarious than when they were children. They contend that their adolescent children need to be watched much more than ever. These are the parents who supervise every aspect of the latter's activities. After all, these parents argue that they do not want their children to get into trouble.
Many sheltered adolescent children spend their years in quiet and utter desperation. Their lives are extremely restricted, especially after school hours. While their less sheltered and/or more free range peers have age appropriate freedom to choose their activities and friends, the former have those things prescribed and preordained by their parents. To reiterated, the average sheltered adolescent lead a life more suitable to an upper level elementary school age children than of their chronologically respective ages. It is not usual for sheltered adolescents to have an extremely strict curfew while their friends are allowed more reasonable curfews.
There are some sheltered adolescents who rebel against such parental strictures but it often backfires on them. Their parents believe that their adolescents are very ill equipped to deal with the world. So their children rebel, entering and participating in situations that can be deemed as quite deleterious. In essence, they are unable to navigate themselves out of the situation. Naturally, their parents have to come to their aid and rescue. Thus the self-fulfilling prophecy comes into fruition that their adolescent children are totally incapable of taking care of themselves. Now, the adolescent children in question will be treated even more like children and the vicious circle begins.
Sheltered adolescent children are fishes out of water in junior high and high school environments. While other same age children are anticipating and exploring different roles, the former are anxious and risk aversive regarding such exploration. They are dependent at an an age where most children their respective ages are not. They are overly attached to parents and expect that teachers will show their the same consideration that their parents do. However, many junior high and/or high school teachers often look askance at this and view the situation quite dismally. These teachers realized that these sheltered adolescents have a case of arrested development to say the least.
Sheltered adolescents are quite vulnerable among their same age peers. They will find it difficult to navigate through junior high and/or high school society. Their less sheltered counterparts find such adolescents backward and otherwise inept. They will be subjected to targeting and/or other forms of bullying by stronger adolescents at the school. They are expected to take care of themselves; however, they will fail miserably at the task. Many sheltered adolescents see the junior high and/or high experience quite daunting at best.
Sheltered college age students are proverbially left behind. These are the ones whose parents monitor them while they are in college. There have been stories of parents attending college admissions interviews with their young adult children, much to the utter chagrin of the admissions officer. Furthermore, there are parents who call their sheltered children frequently to ascertain if they are adjusting to college life. Some parents still do their sheltered college age children's reports and/or other assignments.
Sheltered college age children are LOST in the college/university shuffle. Some of them are away from home for the first time in their lives. Many of them fail miserably during the adjustment phase, especially when interfacing with roommates and/or other students on a daily basis. Since they have little or no survival skills, many roommates find such sheltered young men and women to be quite a trial.
Sheltered college age children who have not mastered independent study skills do not remain in college/university for long. They usually flunk out as they are unable to academically look out for themselves. At the college level, clearly no professor is expected to look for you-you should be fully capable of doing this yourself.
There is a second reason why many sheltered college age children flunk out. Many of them were so restricted socially at home that when they are on their own for the very first time, they become quite psychologically discombobulated. Yes, they go wild and they do not have the wherewithal and/or discipline to balance their social life with their academic life. As a result of excessive socializing, their academics failed so it is out of the door.
Sheltered adult children are quite amiss when they enter the workplace. They are often way over their heads. The workplace is often a jungle where the strongest survive and thrive. Well, they are definitely not the strongest. One could characterize them as among the weakest and on the bottom of the corporate food chain.
The skills sheltered adult children should have learned and mastered YEARS ago are missing as a result of their familial status. They have poor judgement and self-starting skills which are essential to function in the work environment. As employees, they are quite dependent upon the supervisor and/or superior. To say that they need constant supervision is a truism. Besides the supervisor/superior, more capable employees oftentimes have to carry the weight for sheltered adult employees.
Such employees will always be at the bottom. No supervisor/superior is going to promote such employees for obviously they are incapable. As an employees, they are barely tolerable to totally abysmal. They are the LEAST desired employees. If they do not change and/or man/woman up in the workplace, they soon will be ...........OUT THE DOOR, ADIOS!
Sheltered adult children are the most likely to be unemployed and/or underemployed. Many of them because of constant terminations can be classified as quite unemployable. Many sheltered adult children although highly educated, do not possess the skills and/or acumen to hold high powered, responsible jobs. That is too daunting for them. They are also risk averse so they often hold jobs that are far beneath their capabilities.
It goes without saying that sheltered adult children are more likely to live with their parents at an age when many of their less sheltered counterparts are living independently. Many overprotective and/or overly cautious parents prefer it that way. They feel that it is way too dangerous for their adult children to live on their own. In their estimation, one never know what could happen. It is not unusual for sheltered adult children to live with their parents until they are married or a committal relationship. Some adult children, afraid to assume adult responsibilities, live with their parents for the rest of their lives.
Regarding relationships, sheltered adult children want others to be parent or the more dominant figure instead of equal adult partners. Since sheltered adult children are developmentally and emotionally behind, they are incapable of having mature relationships. They are more comfortable being the passive partner who wants to be taken care of. They simply are unable to take care of others and assume adult roles in relationships. There are a few who are abused by their parents because they do not have the wherewithal to assert themselves and to demand equal and respectful treatment from their partners.
Sheltered adult children become psychologically unhinged when their parents die. Many of them simply cannot see a world without their parents. Some of them go on a downward spiral of no return. They truly feel lost without their parents.
In conclusion, parents who shelter their children are doing them a great disservice. Sheltered children are emotionally, developmentally, and psychologically years behind other children. They oftentimes enter nursery and elementary skills bereft of very rudimentary skills. Teachers at those levels often have to take time from crucial teaching duties to be parents to such children. These children have poor interpersonal skills with other children. Because they have not develop rudimentary life and survival skills at the abovementioned levels, they are targets of stronger children.
At the junior high and high school levels, sheltered children are fishes out of water. They are virtually out of their league in such environments where they are expected to be more independent in terms of academics and social life. As a result of being sheltered, many of them are susceptible to more risky behaviors.
At the college level, sheltered children do not have the skills to successful thrive. Many of them are away from home for the first time and simply cannot adjust to the college environment. Some become wild, being unable to balance social life with academia which result in their flunking out of college. Most of them find it difficult to make the transaction to college life.
Sheltered adult children experience a culture shock when they enter the workplace. They find out that no one is going to baby them the way their parents did. They are expected to use judgement, think independently, and to be self-starters. However, they were not taught these things and their parents solved problems for them so they are deficient in these skills to their disadvantage. Sheltered adult children are overly dependent on their supervisors/superiors the way they are on their parents much to their peril. Many of them end up fired and unemployable. Others, because they lack job survival skills and smarts, tend to be underemployed.
In relationships, sheltered adult children are looking for parent figures instead of equal partners. They are the passive ones in the relationships, wanting to be taken care of but never reciprocating in kind. Some attract abusive partners because of their dependency needs. They tend to live at home years longer than other adults. Their parents are their significant other. They often become psychologically unhinged when their parents die, often going to a point of no return. Sheltered children end up as adults who miss the mark, never fulfilling their potential as full human beings.
© 2013 Grace Marguerite Williams
T on September 19, 2017:
This article perfectly describes my life. I've only now realized just how negatively my parents influenced my development. My peers always told me that my dad was a tyrant but I refused to believe it. I've always thought of my family as cultured and disciplined and other families and children as bad-behaved, thought their parents went to easy on them. I also used to think that my parents beating me was normal. Because I was told how bad other kids' parents were, I idolized mine. But here I am at 21, finally coming to a realization that my awkwardness, inability to open up to people and anxiety aren't exactly the traits I've been born with. Me being a sheltered child lead to years and years of bullying and having no friends, further ruining me as a person. My parents still watch my every move, isolate me from interacting with the people they don't like, choose my occupation for me, prevent me from dressing the way I like. It also comes from my dad's sexism, as he believes that all girls should be proper and submissive, he even bosses my mom around and she's unable to stand up to him. The only place where I'm able to express my feelings and make friends is the internet because it's the only place where I'm not being watched. I feel like my teen years have been a waste. I grew up to be educated and well-mannered at the cost of being an anxious mess and never having experiences that people my age already had. My only hope is that I'm still young and that I'm escaping to another country. Maybe I still have the time to turn my life around without getting in over my head. Sorry if my English is bad, it's not my first language.
Mollybme on June 13, 2017:
Not media rich....
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 27, 2017:
Talk to friends or if you don't have friends, please see a counselor or a psychologist. If you know a clergyperson, perhaps you can talk to him/her. You can also do self-therapy. Look into the negatives of your life & VOW to eradicate the negativity & cultivate POSITIVE thoughts.
fifty yr old lady on May 27, 2017:
I am 50 yrs old and have always had this type of trouble. I do not have access to therapy. Am I doomed to fail for the rest of my life. I struggle with relationships, bullying, working, and everything else you mention, relationships etc. I want to enjoy the rest of my life not wait for death, feeling doomed, please, someone offer me something positive I can do to help myself in the absence of counsellors, therapists or supportive people.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 06, 2017:
Thank you for stopping by & commenting.
Emzet Juwitour from Indonesia on May 06, 2017:
Good topic. Take a look
Amanda on October 12, 2016:
I watch this little boy get babied and pampered daily. He whines they give in he has zero discipline and he doesnt talk. This child is 3, years old. Zero effort toward potty training. Hes going to have SEVERE issues when he gets older.
Garlynne on August 20, 2016:
I'm conflicted with this topic for a see the argument on both sides. While I do see children who are overly sheltered, I also see the flip side of permissive and negligent parenting as hazardous. However the child ends up in early adulthood or middle age depends entirely on the child and how he/she cultivates his/her relationships.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 20, 2016:
What you have stated is very true. Thank you for stopping by.
S on August 20, 2016:
Well this is just fucking depressing. I've only come to realise in the past year that I am the result of emotionally neglectful parents who gave me a sheltered childhood. If I had realised earlier, I would definitely have tried to make some changes. But at my age (27), what am I supposed to do with that realisation now? I'm far too old to be trying to recreate the life experiences most people have already experienced by their teens or early twenties, experiences that allow them to develop essential social and life skills. Most people by my age already have most of their shit sorted out. Or at least they would have already gone through a rebellious phase or a 'finding yourself' phase where they start to know themselves and their needs better as an adult. I've never even had a chance to do that, that's how much my parents sheltered me. It's always been about studying, they never encouraged me to do any extracurricular activities, never encouraged me to socialise outside of school. I'm an only child as well, so I didn't even have siblings that I could interact with. No wonder why I've always had such poor interpersonal skills, no wonder why I had crippling social anxiety when I went to university. No wonder why I was bullied when I was younger, no wonder why I felt like it was so hard to form emotional connections with others, no wonder why I struggled with depression and self harm from my early teens through to my mid-twenties. Now that I've realised all this was due to my upbringing, all I feel is anger and resentment towards my parents. And regret at how they basically led me to waste away my youth, keeping me mentally and emotionally dependent on them like a child, restricting my life experience to academic aspects only. All I've known to do my entire life is to study. I basically went from primary school, to secondary school, to university, and then onto post-graduate university studies. I'm going to be finishing my frigging PhD this year, and all I can think of is 'Ok, what then???' I've reached pretty much the highest level I can go in terms of studying, I have no job experience, no life skills, no relationship experience, and very limited social connections apart from a few friends. All I'll have is a stupid degree which means nothing to me anyway, because it's not even in a field that I like, so I have no passion to make a career out of it. I just studied and studied and kept studying because that was literally ALL I was taught to do by my parents, and I was listening to them. So I'll have a PhD but zero fucking life skills. Thanks Mum and Dad. How am I supposed to go out there into the world and learn what normal people already learnt years ago? I feel like I will forever be developmentally behind my peers at this rate, thanks to overprotective parents who made me focus only on studies and did not allow me to experience my youth when I was meant to. Now it's too late - if I go out now and try to experience all that I should have when I was a teen, ONE it will just look sad, and TWO I'll just be delaying what I'm meant to be doing at my current age - which, in your late 20s is usually meant to be getting in a long term relationship, getting married (or even having kids!), having a stable full-time job, etc. So no matter what I'll forever be 100 steps behind everyone else. I feel like on a subconscious level my parents never really wanted me to be an independent adult. Their way of bringing me up has made sure that they can always have some sort of control over me, the obedient 'forever child', because they have not given me the chance to go out there and be my own person, have my own experiences, learn from my own mistakes. They've made me forever dependent upon them, because even if I wanted to get away from them and be independent, I won't be able to do so successfully, since I lack all the basic skills I'd need to function well and happily in life. I'd be floundering and out of my depth among my peers, in every aspect if I tried.
On a side note, the article itself was well-written and I completely agree with all that you said as it makes perfect sense. But FUCK, is it depressing to read, having experienced such an upbringing myself. My only hope is that parents with young kids read this now so that they don't make the same mistake. Do NOT shelter your kids. It will screw up their lives, they'll feel like they've wasted their youth, and they'll never get to reach their true potential.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 12, 2016:
Thank you for stopping by & commenting. It is greatly appreciated.
Keizy on July 12, 2016:
This article describes my life to a Tee, except one thing. I wan't a spoiled sheltered child who was coddled and protected from harshness. I was an emotionally abused and ignored sheltered child. All my life I was treated by my family as though I was a bother, a weirdo, and an idiot. My mother never thought I could do anything right, nor did she like me (which she has told me a number of times). I was never allowed to do anything but go to school and come home even until my last day of highschool. As you said in the article, this causes trouble with making and keeping friends. I had this issue because I was never able to do what the other kids my age were doing. I didnt have the life experience they did nor did I have the confidence. Friends always wondered why I could never hang out with them outside of school. I was a target for bullying all throughout grade school. I was the weakest link. I was often told that i was good looking from middle to highschool which only made things worst because I wasn't even able to go ignored and blend into the background as just a shy, quiet kid. people who were more popular would attempt to make friends with me on the first days of school, thinking i was "cool' like them, only to realize that is not the case and I am weak. thus I was sometimes a target for bullying simply because i couldn't defend myself. i have no self esteem. I eventually dropped out of school in the 10th grade due to bullying and social anxiety in general. Ever since then I've just become a complete recluse in my parents home. I can probably count on my hands how many times I've left the house and Im 23 now. My anxiety has only gotten worst with my lack of interaction with the rest of the world. I was never encouraged or allowed to do anything as an adolescence, nor was I taught any skills to live as an adult (My mom refused to even teach me to drive saying I should teach myself..knowing I, of course, would not do that.) I wasnt taught anything or given a chance to learn back then yet the moment I turned 18 I was expected to magically be a well rounded adult. Because I clearly was not, I was and still am constantly mocked for it. I feel like rather than genuinely wanting to help me, my family feeds on my sadness, only bringing up my situation to make themselves feel better and superior. All my life I've felt bullied at school and at home. i want so badly to change but i dont know how. I'm in college online and soon I'm going to go on campus.. which terrifies me. I cant even go grocery shopping without having a mental breakdown and a traumatizing experience. paying for food at the cashier is dreadful for me. 9 times out of 10 I embarrass myself and wish in ever left the house. You're also right about us sheltered kid adults seeking parent-like partners. I also crave a partner who can act as a parent to me. Someone to guide me and take care of me. I feel I will be vulnerable to being abused by a partner. Also, as someone who has always dreamed of having kids, I've come to accept the fact that I should probably never have any since I'm not even capable of taking care of myself and might never be. I could never have someone depend on me the way I depend on my own parent. My mom always said she could never see me as a parent. This article kind of discouraged me a bit more because I feel like I just read about my future here.. Not being able to do well in college, work, or when Im left alone. I was kinda hoping going to college would make everything better, but then again why would it? Being in school most of my life hasn't helped with anything. Therapy is also not an option as I have no work or money. I hate most being called lazy, Im really not. i want nothing more in the world than to just be a normal functioning human being living an average, independent life. I am simply extremely terrified and incompetent. I have book smarts and no street smart nor common sense. To make matters worst, my mom clearly sees her error in raising me and only aims to do better for my younger brother who has always been her favorite and she constantly compares me to. Allowing him more freedom, teaching him to drive from a young age and not me, getting him therapy for his anxiety and not me..
Monique on March 24, 2016:
I've considered counseling, but if I join the military I don't want that to be on my record. I'm the youngest in my family and a female. I feel like that's why they sheltered me the way they did. I guess they thought they were doing the right thing. But I feel so behind in life and I'm afraid I'll never get to where I'm supposed to be. The last thing I want is to wind up some women who looks perfect on the outside but is dysfunctional on the inside. I want to date and have a normal life but I tend to distance myself from people because I'm afraid I may do or say something stupid or unacceptable. I just don't know where to begin fixing my life or how I should go about it.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 09, 2016:
You need counselling in order to elevate your confidence level. You also need to divorce yourself from your parents. Your parents really don't love nor respect you. In fact, they don't respect you at all. Parents who respect their children allow them the tools to explore and develop. They also allow their children to have friends. You have made the correct move to go a university far away from your parents. Your parents are the problem, they are toxic and it is better to disassociate yourself from them as they do more harm than good.
Monique on March 09, 2016:
I came across your article by accident in my attempt to get help. You see, I am that sheltered child you speak of. And as I write this I feel a mix of emotions, but most of all I feel anger and sadness. Some days I want to hide away, and some moments I want to scream (why am I the way I am). As I sit in my university dorm, all i can do is hold back tears. I wouldn't want my roommate to know how weak I am. I don't want to be like this. This lost & confused person who is way behind in life. I know I can be stronger, but I feel like im not where i should be at 25 years old. Theres so much i dont know, heck i dont even have street smarts! Why? Because I was never allowed out. I didnt have to worry about a curfew because if my parents didnt know my friends I met in school, i wasnt allowed out anyway. I couldnt hang out with guys. PERIOD. Because of that I tend to be awkward around them. When i told my parents i dont even know how to act around guys, they said i dont need to worry about it right now. So I should wait until I'm an adult then, like now? I'm completely clueless. I'm pretty sure that makes me a target. I may as well have a bullseye on my back. I couldnt even go to my high school friends birthday parties! Some of my friendships began to drift apart because of the excuses came up with when they invited me out. So i became a loner. A loner who just wanted a normal teenage life, but knew she would never have it.
I was the caged bird, minus the singing. I couldnt voice my opinion without it being miscued as being rude or having too much to say. So i held it in and didnt bother at all. Not at home, not at school, not anywhere. People thought I was slow. Some confronted me asking "why don't you talk?!" I just kept walking with my head held down. I just kept my feelings to myself because somehow i felt like they didnt matter. My communication skills are not where they should be to this day and I want to fix it but I don't know how. I want to fix my life but I don't even know where to start or who to trust among my peers in order to get help. I feel like i may be taken advantage of.
I know that my parents love me, i love them dearly. All i want is to be the type of woman that ive always admired. The strong, confident type who speaks eloquently and fears nothing. As a child I had a free spirit, no anxieties or worry's. But as I grew older my free spirit became bound, I couldn't breathe. Im better than I was about, but im still learning how to set my spirit free again. One day, I hope I'll get there. Until then, I'll focus on figuring out who II was truly meant to be. I'm sorry if I wrote too much. I just really had to get this out. I've felt so alone dealing with this all my life. I recently decided to transfer to a university... That's a whole different story. But I left home last summer to really grow into an adult. I hope i made the right decision, and i really hope it works :/
Sandyroad on February 20, 2016:
I taught for over twenty years and kept track of many of my former students. Plus I also hold a psych. degree. I can state by proof of substantial facts what is being said here is very acuratly stated.
I also believe that many tend toward looking at the problem rather than the solution. Along with stopping bullies we must balance this out with teaching children to be so self asured that a bullies antics can not move them to believe the lie. The lie is 'your not good enough'. You will face this aspect many times in life. Grades, contests, sports, a career, Etc.... All speak to us of our value. Over protecting a child weakens their value.
In fact not only protected children but children who are being brought up just in a Montisory type enviroment which communication is minimized and descuraged. They are not allowed to work out or function as social emotional beings.
This said, I would like to enfosize the fact that, many of my fellow students at university who had gone any level of Montisory could not get jobs and were told by prospective employers to go back to school to aquire social skills not because they did not have other skills but because they could not work well with emotionally social interactive people.
I understand this article is not about Monisory but if you know your history you will know it was never ment for the average child but to bring discipline to unruly street children and teach them skills. We are doing our children an injustis by over extending any one developmental concept out of the realms of individual development.
The fact is every child is diferent and there must be balance according to those diferentails in each child when it comes to protection vs social development along with which avenue a child is apt to use to learn. Those being; verbal, experience, sensory, or visual.
I am dealing with a person right at this moment who has threatened suicide and has an addiction to opoids because they know their parents failure to prepare them for real life struggles has made it difficult for them to function in real life stressful situations. I know the parents and this person personally Be reassured all the children from this family have poor social skills and on top of that have turned to drugs to help them deal with the emotional back lash of not having these skills.
The bottom line is that all aspects of development must be ballaneced and administered with consistency acordingly to the disposition of the child and how they learn. This is called loving your child enough to give them veriety, the spice of life.
Rosabelle on February 02, 2016:
Hmmmm I agree children need to grow up and accept reality for what it is, if the parents don't like it then they shouldn't have had children I HATE that parents shelter their kids so much its disgusting any parent who overly shelters their kid or kids I consider a child abuser worse than a child abuser or even child molester
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on January 27, 2016:
You have made some excellent points. Thank you for stopping by.
Dman16 on January 27, 2016:
How true. May I add that being sheltered is multi-facited. Most of this article is very true and you see this in real life. There are a few sheltered children, however, that live with different family dynamics. While one might be provided everything with bad behavior. One might at the same time also be punished for good behavior which creates a pattern of negative reactions in which oppositional and defiant behavior become apparent. So it is negative forces working against each other. As the child now expects attention for acting out they continue to seek it. The more defiant the child becomes the more controlling the parent or parents become to compensate. This is could end up being psychologically damaging and stressful for both sides. What ends up happening is that you have to seperate from each other in order not to form co-dependency on each other nor form a pattern of co-dependency outside in other relationships. The absolute last thing anyone should want or expect is that anyone will save them. Maybe the one and possibly only thing positive about being a sheltered child is that you were taught that the world is dangerous and once the child grows and gets over the dependency on their parents they learn that in a dangerous world the only person you can be sufficient on is yourself. Hopefully not to the extreme to avoid social contacts but in terms of independence.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 28, 2015:
Thank you for responding. You have presented quite a different perspective which is welcomed. However, children who are sheltered i.e. overprotected by their parents do not fare well in life. First of all, they are developmentally behind their less sheltered peers in terms of decision making and life skills. Studies report that overprotected/sheltered children tend to be bullied because they do not possess the skills necessary to defend themselves. Their parents do things for them that they are capable of doing for themselves. Teachers find such children to be an albatross as opposed to less sheltered children who exhibit more independence. In high school and particularly college, sheltered children are woefully out of place. Some are woefully unable to cope with college life and sadly have to return home. In terms of jobs, supervisors and superiors want an employee who is independent and does not need constant supervision. Many sheltered children in the corporate world often are terminated from their jobs because of this component. If they do not change their ways, some become unemployable.
Mark on March 28, 2015:
This article is severely demeaning to only children of single parents. First of all, socialization is a completely overrated farce. The vast majority of 'relationships' are fueled by personal gain and when those relationships pose as advantageous to both parties over an extended period of time the two become acquaintances at best. Friendship is much more involved than this because selflessness and empathy are both required to break the veneer of a casual acquaintance. The notion that sheltered kids perform worse academically than their peers in college is a bold-faced lie that is contradicted by practically every piece of statistical research conducted on college-tier students for the past decade. Belaboring that point is redundant. Outwardly glowing people who polish their laurels and who 'friend' every other friend of their facebook friend are notorious for their incompetency in the workplace. The shy types who keep their mouths shut and never talk to anyone outside of work-related matters excel considerably at their jobs. Because they haven't catapulted themselves to the center of attention by superficially beefing up their resumes and coddling the bosses' genitalia, they are usually forced to settle with the leftovers when it comes to pay raises/bonuses. Introverted and sheltered people are actually some of the most outspoken people you will ever meet. Garrulous airheads are so busy yapping away about nonsense that us pensive recluses are rarely given the chance to express ourselves; but when we do our arguments are solid and our words dig deep. I was sheltered and babied by my mom (heck I even slept in bed with her until I was 12); I not only finished my degree well before anyone else in my age (and demographic cohort) but I have a job with a 75k+ salary a cushion of capital in my investments account and I will comfortably be in the vicinity of my first mill by the time I hit 35 (I'm 24 as of now). My mom had already cracked that goal by the time she was 33 and she was daddy's little princess. I've seen socially well-adapted people nearly 3 times my age struggle to crack a measly 100k in their savings account, have 0$ in their investment account and still have 10+ years on their mortgage. If life is a rolling stone then you can gimme shelter any day.
Anushka from Auckland on March 11, 2015:
I thought the article was interesting and there are parts I agree with. To a certain extent parents who make decisions for their children and don't encourage them to think for themselves and become independent are setting their kids up for disaster when they can't then make these choices for themselves later on. However not all children react the same way, some are self-motivated and determined to be functioning adults. I worry that this pushing your ideas to the extremes and assuming that all children growing up in this kind of family dynamic are destined for the future you've described above.
sckrane on September 06, 2014:
I completely understood the intentions of this article, despite the fact that you made no distinctions within it. I still believe that saying any child or adult (able minded and bodied or otherwise) is destined for failure is a grand generalization, and an ignorant one at that.
As someone who worked at an Ivy League institution within the Psychology department for a number of years, I can easily refute the argument that you have made in this piece and strongly recommend that you re-evaluate the dogmatic opinions you broadcast.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 06, 2014:
Kind sir, I was not talking about physically, mentally, and/or emotionally challenged children nor children living in extremely dangerous environments. Parents should protect their children in such circumstances. I was talking about the parent who refuses to let his/her normal and/or beyond normal level child become progressively independent.
I was discussing the parent who makes decisions for a child when the child is well able to make those decisions for him/herself. This is the parent who refuses to let a 13 year old go to school alone(talking about a safe neighborhood), a parent who refuses to let his/her child go camping and indulge in normative childhood, adolescent activities. This is the parent who infantilize a child at a age when it is NOT appropriate to do which in fact is extremely detrimental to the child's development.
I was talking about the parent who refuses to give his/her child incremental responsibilities, doing EVERYTHING for him/her. I was discussing a parent who believe that children should never fail nor experience any type of frustration, shielding him/her from the more harsher aspects of life which isn't good for the child's coping skills at all.
sckrane on September 06, 2014:
This article is incredibly rude and uncouth. Your philosophy here is rooted in ableism and ignorance; many ‘sheltered’ children are those with developmental disabilities and mental disorders, unable to take care and look after themselves. There are also children that are raised in impoverished or dangerous areas which does not allow them to experience the same degree of freedom that other more well-off children do.
Even in a different circumstance, this entire article seems to be attacking the children of overprotective parents rather than the parents themselves. You are essentially stating in black and white that sheltered children are destined to be socially stunted, victims of domestic violence, and unemployable. Do you not see how problematic this is? Also, who are you to dictate what constitutes a “full human being”?
I completely disagree with this article and suggest that you cultivate a more thoughtful, well-rounded method of analysis.
Jenson Robien from New York on December 08, 2013:
Prodigies with a single, all-consuming talent often have difficulties in other areas of life, particularly socializing, and are quite sheltered by their parents. But in this sheltered environment their genius is allowed to flourish and they become successful adults, even if they are not well-rounded.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 15, 2013:
Thank you for your response.
Linda Rogers from Minnesota on June 15, 2013:
Excellent and informative piece on 'Sheltered Children.' I had a friend in high school that fits the bill. She had no idea how to cook, clean, etc... because her mother did it all for her. I knew College was going to be really tough for her. She ended up rebelling really bad in high school. She would lie to her mom about where she was and often use me as an excuse. She'd tell her mom she was sleeping over at my house when she was really out with older guys and getting into trouble. I think her mom overprotected her because she was a single mother. Great article and I hit many buttons and voted up.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 15, 2013:
I appreciate and am immensely grateful for your response and spot on analysis. Parents must exercise moderation in raising their children. Being an uninvolved parent is MUCH WORSE than being an OVERPROTECTIVE one.
d.william from Somewhere in the south on June 15, 2013:
This certainly a comprehensive look at the overly sheltered children in our society.
There are extremes from overly sheltered to none at all, allowing those children to totally fend for themselves - and everything in between.
Unfortunately raising children does not come with a hand book of instructions to suit every child. The children are at the total mercy of the attitudes, and beliefs, of their parents ranging from positive to negative.
We are a complex species with a myriad of opinions by experts in every field, on how we should raise our children. So the best any parents can do is try for the middle ground between too much lenience and severe strictness.
All in all, well written and thoughtful article, as usual.