Is 14 the appropriate age to stop being an overprotective parent?

It's easy to want to shelter your child from the world, but when do you let them be independent and stop being so overprotective? Is 14 years old about the right age?

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31  Answers

63 27

I'd shoot for closer to 30.

9
0 0

i know is a little bit late but I want to share this... In my opinion the overprotection is really bad from the start to the end and I know that sometimes you think that when you overprotect your child is because you love him and you want the best for him but when you overprotect him what you are telling them is that they can't do something that they are not capable and that is a bad message when you want them to be more in depended so on the first years obviously you need to be there for them so they can know that they are secure with their mom and dad but then start giving them freedom because then when you aren’t going to be there for them what they are suppose to do if they never had the chance when you were there for them and do this always keeping a eye on them and like Jennifer said it’s all about capability of maturity and don’t make their childhood difficult and sad because they were being overprotected and overprotect have some really bad effects on the kid when they grow and a last think do you think the moms that look younger and relax are does who overprotect their children? Because they keep an eye on them but giving them space and if your children is being bully then is because you are not over protecting him is because you are over bearing him.

0 65

it depends on the child. I have a 12 year old who has high functioning Aspergers who is not responsible enough to give him too much freedom. Yet, I have a niece who is 11 who is extremely independent and responsible. So, i don't think it's an exact AGE but the individual who dictates the level of freedom that they should receive.

8
16 21

Agreed

631 96

NEVER be overprotective of your child - at any age!

Protect them yes, but make sure you know what you are protecting your child from...

It is our responsbility to protect and to nurture... but there must be a balance coupled with wisdom.
If you open wide the floodgates at age 14 you may end up with a drowning ... ease up - and be sure you couple responsiblity with privilege! ♥

4
23 11

I feel that the age isn’t as important as the maturity of the child, their environment, ability to reason and use good judgment.

4
16 21

Sooooooo true I have a 14 yr daughter whos maturity level is much lower then 14.

0 0

I am the parent of a 12 year-old boy and a 16 year-old girl and in my opinion, there is really no time to completely quit being overprotective... You just have to let them think that you are loosening the reigns. While "ALWAY KEEPING YOUR GUARD UP!" We have to remember that things are nothing like they were when we were kids. But in the same respect this is how they learn responsibility. Use other parents/friends/family (and let them use you in return) to check-up/in without them knowing and then when they get home be 100% interested in every detail. They will then gain the maturity and responsibility that we all hope for our children. But peer pressure is undoubtely 10 time worse than when we were childres and now especially in school, you are guilty by association and while it is unfare, it is fact and so I stress again that you always keep your guard up. They may hate you for it now, but they will love and respect you for it in the furture!

4
0 13

I think you have to teach you children to be independent quite early. I don't mean let them do what they want, but guide them in the right way. Children need space to learn and it is important for them to make some mistake form time to time, as how else will they learn to make the right chooses. I think we overprotected our children too much. I know you going say there is a lot of strange people, But how many children are hurt by strange people. You child is more like to be killed in a car accident or make a bad decision and get into a car with a friend who has been drinking if they have not learnt to make decisions for them selves. Also a interesting thing to think about your child if more likely to be abused by some one they know, so you need to look close at pepole around you. I have a 12 year old that does have quite a bit of freedom, but its about trust and he knows if he brakes that trust it takes a lot to get it back. Yes there is a conseqence, if he does the wrong thing. It's a hard world out there and we will not always be around to protect our children.

3
0 14

I have a 9yr old boy and a 7yr old girl (and a 3month baby)...live in an amazingly safe community in az where most families do shelter their children as we do....much more than I saw in our last community in va. Most moms stay home or kids are in organized activities...no unsupervised playing in streets / neighborhood and on everyones lawns (like kids in va did w/no regard to personal property/space). No parent wants to be called "Freddies Mom" aka ICarley...thus making ones child feel awkward around peers so it is nice to feel my community is accepting to our "possible overprotective parenting". I'm going to say I may be MORE protective at age 14 since that is an age that kids will start wanting to experiment with sex ...drugs and alchohol and rebellian to everything we have tried to teach them up until now....in their own efforts to be accepted by peers/make their personalities known. Anyone see the movie 13? Its about what some 13 yr old girls /boys are into in ca. Love to hear how other moms are dealing with protecting/raising their 14yr olds to not "sneak around" and honestly make the right choices

3
0 1

Depends on in what way? Letting them see some R movies...yes. Going to dances...yes. Letting them text their friends...yes. You can't completely shelter them or many will rebel. You hope and trust that the values you have given them will make them make good choices. And if they don't....then they will learn from those choices and take responsibility of their actions. It's hard to watch them fail, but many times they learn more when they do. I also think giving them more responsibility is part of it too....give them a time to be home....a time to quit texting at night.....expectations in school, etc. This will show you how protective you need to be....how are they handling the responsibility? It's all about balance and all our kids are different ....some need more boundaries than others. You have to read your child and decide for yourself.

2
5 0

NO!!! Now you have to be even more vigilant!! You have to keep an eye out at all times. Always err on the side of caution. Get to know his friends, his activities and teachers. Too much freedom in teenage boys is what contributes to them running amok in the streets, drinking, smoking, sex and other inappropriate teen behavior. Always know where your child is and who he is with. Years ago there was a commercial that went on the say something like, "ask where, when, why, and who? Always know what is going on in your child's world. Parents who are concerned with their teens, raise happy, healthier, smarter and better adjusted adults." You give a teen to much rope and they will trip over it big time.

1
1 18

Not at all....it's the perfect time to start!! Seriously. This is the age when kids start having their bits of taste of freedom. No car pooling or chaparoning to keep you informed. Don't stop now... just be more creative. If your child doesn't have text messaging yet, don't allow it. 14 is such a crucial age. The age I lost my son who is now 16 1/2 and just came back to me.

1
123 3

I think it is NEVER appropriate to be over protective. One has to consider the possible and probable consequences (of both their activities and of limiting their activities). Fighting with your kids to protect them for minor consequences is silly, but I won't give in if I feel there is a significant chance of major consequences. I let my 4 year old climb as high in a tree as he feels comfortable, because I don't want to give him the feeling that I have no faith in his abilities. But I did make a rule that he is not allowed to climb on things that are standing on concrete. There has to be softer ground underneath so that there is less chance of brain damage. When I do enforce limits I tend to say that it is because I am afraid rather than he might get hurt.

I waited with my daughter for the bus to school every morning till she was 13, but she was under 5feet and 100lbs and the stop was 1 block away from known drug houses. When she was 16, I let her stay out all night with her friends, provided she told me whom she was with and what the general plan, place was. She also had to phone me from her cell if she was leaving the safety of her friends' company and always answer if I called her (which was infrequent).

1
0 0

My daughter is six and I have always struggled to give her age and personality appropriate freedom and to never be overprotective. Which has meant I have never lied to her (which means I google a lot of things I do not know!) and she has responsibilities as well as freedoms that are taken away when responsibilities are not met and you should never shelter them from the consequences of their decisions.

I have found this method has left me a very happy, independent, loving daughter. She trusts me and she has coping mechanisms! She amazes me every day how mature, responsible, and intelligent she can be if I just give her the chance!

1
0 8

Protective parent no ....overprotective parent yes! This is the age where they need room to make mistakes. Learning as they do. As parents we do need to allow developmental changes in our kids. I think fourteen is a good age. Two years after comes sixteen then they will be driving and maybe have a job.

1
0 9

I think its about the individual child. Everyone grows n matures at there own pace.being that I have 13,10 and 8 year old we've given them enough space to develop there own personality and they each are understanding that "trust" must be earned. My husband and I have absolutely no problem takeing everything away from them and havering them earn it all back. Wer live in a very unsafe world, and being that I have seen and lived the ugliest childhood imaginable I am very honest with my kids, I protect them andlove them, I try to have faith that they will choose the right path. I am here to help them get through the lessons in life and have an understanding that at some point they have to be trusted. I don't think a specific age can be put on that point. I won't loose them to the streets but won't shelter them from life either.

1
1,306 0

I agree that overprotection is always a problem. The "over" part implies that you are being more protective than necessary which can stunt a child's independence, self confidence, etc. The trick is to assess your particular child and what they need, and to ask yourself if you are giving your child the space they need to mature and be their own person.

0
0 0

In my opinion the overprotection is really bad from the start to the end and I know that sometimes you think that when you overprotect your child is because you love him and you want the best for him but when you overprotect him what you are telling them is that they can't do something that they are not capable and that is a bad message when you want them to be more in depended so on the first years obviously you need to be there for them so they can know that they are secure with their mom and dad but then start giving them freedom because then when you aren’t going to be there for them what they are suppose to do if they never had the chance when you were there for them and do this always keeping a eye on them and like Jennifer said it’s all about capability of maturity and don’t make their childhood difficult and sad because they were being overprotected and overprotect have some really bad effects on the kid when they grow and a last think do you think the moms that look younger and relax are does who overprotect their children? Because they keep an eye on them but giving them space and if your children is being bully then is because you are not over protecting him is because you are over bearing him.

0
0 32

I struggle with this myself every day,my daughter is 14 will be 15 in a couple months, but I dont want her to make the mistakes I did, and I have tendency to nag and lecture which turns her away from me and that hurts, a lot, and I dont meant to do this to be a pain or annoying, but I love her so much and am so proud of her, and I DO trust her all the way, I dont trust others so much (maybe from my own upbringing) I dont have a healthy relationship with my own mother and i dont want to end up that way with my own daughter...I just dont want her to get influenced by the wrong people......I dont know what to do about it, do I let go, do I hang on even if she ignores me and is mean to me, what do I do??

0
36 73

I think every child is different....I have a 13 1/3 year old that I can't leave home alone for more then 2 hours. I remember babysitting my little brother when I was only 9, but I could never do that with my child. So you should never be too overprotected but you need to just read your kids and you'll know when you can "let" go. If it was up to me my daughter would stay by my side forever!!!!

0
2 8

As a child becomes more mature, you loosen the cord a little. At 14, the cord should be tight. Once you start loosening the cord, asses the behavior, if it's appropriate, loosen a little more as the maturity level is evident. My son is 18, in college and although he can pretty much operate as an adult, he's still wet behind the ears and we tell him no when it's necessary. He's aware he doesn't have to ask for permission but he knows and values our thoughts about various things and we typically have open dialogue about the things he'd like to do. He's my only child and I will never stop being over protective but I've come up with creative ways to deal with his freedom.

0
21 19

It depends on what you consider overprotective. I have three children and pregnant with my fourth my kids range in age of 23yrs, 14yrs, and 9yrs old. I have learned and grown a lot through the years but there are some things that will always be. I was molested at a young age and raped by two people at the age of twelve while spending the night out at a very close family friends house. So all of my children can count on one hand how many times they have spent the night out i'm not very big on spending the night away from home and I will never be. I don't allow my children to play in bedrooms and I just use caution. I will say for a long time I was ruled by fear but I know that fear is not of God so this is an area that God is definatly healing me in. However I do believe we have to use wisdom in everything we do and to me the things I listed above are using wisdom because of the things that I have experienced in my life I am not blinded to things that can happen even children with other children. I think you have to educate your children well and be open with them you give them a little freedom and if they handle it well and are trustworthy you can give a little more. But there should always be boundries no matter what age as long as they are at home.

0
623 5

when they have the mental AND PHYSICAL capabilities of being responsible for themselves. A 14 year old, even if very mature for their age, is still no match for a fully grown adult. How many abductions and paedophilia cases do you hear involving children of this age?

0
0 0

no, as long as they are staying with us parents,they will have to follow the rules. 14 is the critical age for teens because they want to explore,they are agressive so we have to guide them in every decisions they make...we,parents are the only one who can understand and love them....

0
147 31

should have happened long before then because how is your 14 year old supposed to know how to self solve problem if they are used to you or your partner always stepping in and fixing things for them? unless the child has some sort of social delay or mental anomaly.

0
139 10

Parents are the one's who know there children and have a feeling when its time to loosen the strings a little, becoming independant and making life choices is a skill young adults have to learn, the only way to learn is by taking those first independant steps and knowing you are there as you were when he took his first few steps will be just as important. Young males are not quite as mature as females and rely a lot on their peers for guidance at this age. So it may be worth while checking out why he feels ready to be independant, maybe he sees others doing things he feels he should be doing.
On the other hand for you its a difficult time when your son reaches the time when he no longer feels he wants to do family things as much, but it shows what a wonderful job you have done to bring him up into a place where he feels confident enough to take his first steps into adult life and I am sure he will make all the right decsions with your love and support. Good luck its a long Rd but I am sure in time you will both enjoy his new found independance.

0
33 8

Some independence . . .but keep them on a short leash! Too many scary things out there and 14 is still not old enough to recognize all of them or to always make the right decision. However, at fourteen they begin high school as a freshman, and I feel that is time to let your child attend school events, the mall, certian public events with friends. BUT ONLY if they have a cell phone and you are able to contact them at anytime and you know how they are getting to and from the event.

0
9 11

I agree that it would depend upon the child. While I am I slight ways away from my daughter being 14, I will have to continually and carefully assess her before, during and after that age, upon what she is, and is not capable of. I am thinking,at this point, to err on the side of caution, so as to keep her from any and all dangers. That way, I can have a clear conscience that she was protected on all counts. I hope this isn't so unrealistic of a view.

0
0 1

Yes and no. It depends on the maturity of the child. But I also think they still need rules. Cuz they are still a child.

0
0 0

Having 19,17, 16, and a 12 yr. old, overall, I would say 14 is a good age for some independence. My 19 yr old daughter hada little too much freedom I think, and made very bad choices. The fact she had to work off cell phone hours she had accumulated in a two month period, taught her nothing. She spent too much time on the computer, mostly unsupervised, until i checked one day, and didn't like what i saw she was doing online. A few months ago, She ran away with someone she met a week before, on the interne, out of state. I let her stay there for 2 months, before i went to pick her up. I

Now that she is 19, i pretty much tell her, you are an adult, I can't tell you what to do. BUT I do make her tell me if, when, and where she is going somewhere. Sometimes she is allowed to take a phone with her, sometimes not.

My 17 and 16 yr old boys, both have girlfriends that adore them, and talk about marriage. That is a tough one. I have tried to talk them and their gfs into going out and seeing other people and having fun, without being tied down to one person, (one's gf is 14). On the other hand, my boys are basically good kids, treat them like princesses, and they probably couldn't find better husband material. So I am kind of in the middle. I try to watch their FB pages, along with their gf's, just to see what is going on in their lives. They tell me when, where, and who with, for the most part when they go somewhere.

The 12 yr. old has cerebral palsy. She will be my most tough one in her teens most likely. Mentally, she is close to her peers. Physically, she is way behind. She is overly emotional, and i spend a lot of time stopping her meltdowns. Just not looking forward to 13, just have to live through it somehow.

0
0 11

My initial reaction was STOP being overprotective at 14???this is when I want to kick it in high gear. It is a rough, rough world out there. My son is quiet, has 2 best friends, goes to school, goes to sports. Never had detention. Does his chores. No smoking, drinking, etc. But then I have to send him into the real world. Kids out there aren't all bad, they make bad choices. They are unsupervised. Parents aren't home. Some are angry, and sad, whether it be social pressures or home environment. The way I see it, if the 30's are the new 20's, what age is 14? 4? I agree with home responsibilities, chores, community activities. I believe in outside play. Does he have a cell phone, yes. I was against it at first, but it makes me feel safe when he is out and about. Do I call him every hour? Yes. Do I read his texts (with permission..).Yes. I think maturity and protectiveness is being confused with "being in the streets". It amazes me that girls can wear short shorts, boys can wear colognes and gold chains, but they can't wash dishes or take out the trash and mow the loan (because they don't know how, not because they can't). I also believe it depends on the child. No child and no one is perfect, so boundaries need to be set. There is a difference between over-protective and protective. Over-protective is unhealthy, (i.e., no sports, you could get hurt)..while protective is a must, (i.e, be home at 10, or I will look for you). Communication is a must. Like I said, I think social maturity is rated on being "fast, popular, and cool".. not being "kind and responsible". I have seen too many "mature" kids throw tantrums in the mall for $100 jeans. As a society, we need to get it together. Children are still children. They need to be protected, educated and informed.

1 20

I believe in a proactive son/daughter relationship. You keep an open communication with them, and they will almost always keep an open relationship with you. I have a 12 year old daughter, whom I trust, but not most of her friends. We have had the sex/drug/alcohol talk, she understands that most people learn from their decisions, but not all. If she was at a friends house and there was alcohol/drug, she knows she could call me and there would be questions, but I would not judge. Also, if she decided that she wanted to have sex later in life, that I would be the one to tell first and make sure she was protected. We always drove home the idea that school is first, social life, second. If you make them aware of their surroundings, you shouldn't have to worry much. My boys, 10 & 9, they would not get the same liberties as my daughter because they don't fully grasp what is going on around them. Maybe by 16, hopefully! :)

0
20 4

I personally dont feel you ever stop being protective of your children. I have a 30 yr old daughter and a 13 year old son and I am very protective of both of them. Now as far as giving them freedom to make choices. Well both my children learned at a young age to make their choices, but , BUT both kids, even my daughter, when decisions arent obvious, they have learned to ask our opinion and talk about the choices they want to make and why.. When they do make bad choices, again, we discuss with them why and what and all the rest . Our son, is very responsible , for the most part, but sometimes, as we have noticed, makes bad spur of the moment decisions. NOthing thats ever hurt him. So we have taken that opportunity to teach him to think through each decision he makes.. never spur of the moment without first questioning his motives. Being responsible is all about letting us know where he is, where he is going, when hes going to come home, why he is late, who he is hanging out with.. Its not being over protective, its being responsible. He has a relationship with us, lives with us, therefore has to show respect for us. If hes not going to be home for supper, he has to let us know.. not because we want him home, but thats just teaching him respect for who he lives with and respect for the relationship. I think too making him responsible for letting us know where he is, what hes doing , who he is with, shows him that he isnt a free agent and that we care. Its not a free for all.. I mean, Honestly, my husband and I do the same thing with each other, tell each other where we are going, doing and with whom., so why woudlnt I expect that from our son? I dont think its sheltering, I think its being responsible.

-1
15 5

As a mom s a nearly 16 yrs old girl and a son whjo is 27 yrs oild. I have night and day. My son didn't want to date, go to dances, or tried any extra curricular activities involving sex or drugs/alcohol.

My daughter has an emotional disorder that makes she want to do all the above... I think it depends onthe maturity of your gchild aswell as gender. My son worked at 14 and went to school. That is ALL he wanted to do.

My daughter is 15.5 yrs old going on 30. She thinks she has all the answers and can make good choices. I see so many BAD choices shehs made. Drugs/alcohol are not involved... soooo depends on how much you trust your kid.

-1
2 7

Ah but rem boys are more immature than girls hence your 15.5 going on 30 - acting older and wanting to do older things. I would say the above you are experiencing on how you describe (apart from the emotional disorder whatever that is) with your daughter is more than normal - very sociable ie the activities, dances etc and more maturer than a boy would be at that age in ref to girls, alcohol etc but yes they are all different. :O)

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