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What Causes a Mother to Be Overbearing?

by Kay Ireland, studioD

Sometimes known as the "helicopter mom," overbearing parents are usually those that make decisions for their kids, try and protect them from anything negative and have specific parenting goals in mind with little room for flexibility. Understanding why a parent at your "Mom and Me" group is so intense can help you better grasp what it means to be an overbearing mom.

Parenting Goals

An overbearing mom might have specific parenting goals in mind that she sets for herself and her children. On his website, clinical psychologist Dr. Domenick Maglio points out that an overbearing mom often wants her child to be superior to others and therefore, pushes her to excel or be the best, no matter what the cost. Other overbearing moms are motivated by specific educational or career goals set for her children. While these goals are admirable, they don't always give children the choice to develop goals on their own.

Past Upbringing

Parenting skills can be passed down from generation. If a parent was the child of another overbearing mother during her own childhood, she might be more likely to carry on that behavior as she parents her own kids. Being overprotective, accepting nothing less than perfection and always shadowing one's child could be evidence of a mom simply parenting the way she was raised.

Fear and Protective Nature

Some overbearing moms are less concerned with their child's success in life and more concerned with a child's safety. Fear can drive even a levelheaded mom to overprotect her child, whether it's worry that a child will make a poor decision and suffer negative consequences or that he'll put himself at physical risk while playing with peers. While this form of protection seems like it evolves from a loving concern, Indiana University psychologist Chris Meno warns that the behavior can backfire, leading to children who are anxious and lack basic problem-solving skills.

Concern for Kids

In the end, an overbearing mother has a deep concern for her children that may manifest in an extreme way. Overbearing parents often go to extremes when it comes to discipline and consistency, warns psychologist Carl Pickhardt in an article for Psychology Today. In an effort to provide a stable environment for children, overbearing moms might make overprotect and micromanage every aspect of their kids' lives. While an overbearing mom might drive you insane, it's important to remember that just like you, she wants the best for her child -- even if she goes about it in an extreme way.

About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.

Photo Credits

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