Avoid Overparenting

From Kevin Leman’s book What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter’s Life:

A dad who overparents will smother his daughter. He is positive he knows just how his little girl should turn out, and he’ll raise her to be like a seal that claps its hands when Daddy holds out a fishy little morsel. This will leave her always seeking Daddy’s ever-elusive approval and having little or no confidence in herself.

When a father overparents, he doesn’t give his child an opportunity to develop her inner resources. She becomes unduly dependent on her dad and will never be able to fully leave. Rather than enter her marriage as a full-fledged partner, she will make her husband feel like he has another child on his hands.

The marks of overparenting are these. Instead of helping a daughter form her own opinions, an overparenting dad berates any idea that differs from his own. Instead of encouraging his daughter to become responsible, the overparenting dad encourages her to stay dependent. Instead of teaching his daughter to develop her strengths and abilities, an overparneting dad criticizes and coddles his daughter to such an extent she doesn’t believe she has any strengths.

Rather than letting a daughter contribute to the family, an overparenting dad makes her feel like a leech, living off others. This can be tragic. When a child doesn’t have the opportunity to give back to the family, she is hindered from developing a crucial sense of belonging. . . . If she doesn’t feel that she belongs, she will lack the stability to avoid falling in with the wrong crowd.