Parenting can be Extremely Tough!
After all, raising young kids is by no means an easy job and the fact that kids don’t come with instruction manuals, which actually makes matters worse.
There is no one size fit all policy that can work on all parents.
You wish to raise your kids the right way, give them a happy life which is filled with valuable lessons.
You want to be a part of their life at all steps. But it is not as easy as it sounds because you need to make sure that you are not overly involved.
This is where the concept of Torpedo Parenting shows up as a way that many parents with good intentions end up doing wrong for their kids. This type of parenting has drastic adverse effects for your child, and if not taken care of, it can leave lifelong negative impacts for your kid.
Helicopter Vs Torpedo Parenting
Torpedo parenting is different and more impactful from ‘helicopter parenting’. In helicopter parenting, parents just hover over the child’s life. But in torpedo parenting, they just hit them from their bottom with BANG BANG!
What is Torpedo Parenting?
Torpedo parenting is a style of parenting observed for quite some time where parents are too involved in the lives of their children. Such parents pay a lot of attention to the experiences as well as troubles faced by their child.
This is named as the ‘Torpedo Parenting’ style because such parents always ‘keep targeting’ their child, keeping an eye on all aspects of it and overseeing and controlling the actions of the child regularly. Sometimes, they end up trespassing into their so-called ‘Privacy’, due to which they end up feeling choked while at home or at outside. This is nothing more than the surprise attack from bottom, without any prior warning!
The psychology of torpedo parents can be attributed to feelings of not being enough in their own childhood or adult life.
Parent’s Unconscious Attempt to Force Their Unfulfilled Dream on Kids!
Parents are often seen to consciously or subconsciously, attempting to make their child do something that was a dream or aim they had but couldn’t fulfill. They wish to make their child achieve the things which they failed to deliver.
And this often ends up neglecting whether or not the child has the capacity or the aptitude to achieve what they dreamt off in their own childhood or youth. This dream can be both education related as well as related to a co-scholastic field. Like cracking the university examinations (Like IIT, IIM or AIIMS), or learning to play guitar or to compete in a sport.
Impact of Relations Between Parents
If the husband and the wife aren’t on good terms, it can impact the life of the child harshly.
In the case of sour relations, both can end up neglecting the consequences for the child and make them do what they wish their child to do.
This places the child in a really precarious position as what the father wants and what the mother wants can be two really different things. Further, there is no guarantee that either will meet the aptitudes or the interests of the child.
The relations between the husband and wife can also have the consequence that generally the wife would be insecure about the condition that she might have to live in once she reaches old age (based on the state of her relations with her husband).
On the occurrence of such insecurity compels them to try and interfere in the education and lives of their child to shape it in a way which helps their insecurities.
They might go as far as to even influence the decision of their child on whom they wish to marry to ensure that their son or daughter marries a person they like.
What makes Torpedo Parenting so bad?
Over Controlling Parents. They keep an eye on the lives of the child. The child lacks any form of freedom and independence.
The life of the child is confined to a little box which lies in the hands of the parent. This results in a considerable number of ill effects for the kid, as they have no room for growth either emotionally or for their personality. Such kids don’t have the emotional strength or a sharp, distinct character which makes them stand out in life.
The child doesn’t get the opportunity to learn the essential skills required in life.
They cannot cope with stress or emotional trauma in a positive manner.
They lack crucial interpersonal skills and remained confined to an invisible cage by their parents. A cage with the bars made of unreasonable expectations and roof made of excessive restrictions.
Too much interference in the lives of children can lead to them developing negative traits.
It makes children confused in life.
They are finicky about their own future.
It causes them to be unable to trust people around them quickly and make them tend to be loners.
Children who face torpedo parenting end up having to fight battles which aren’t their own choice instead of achieving the things that they really wish to.
Consequences on Child’s Youth
Adults who have experienced this parenting style during their younger years end up being loners, members of an unhappy marriage, unable to manage their financial condition and living with an unhealthy lifestyle.
They are insecure about their future and tend to curse their parents for the failures which they are experiencing.
They have low confidence and self-esteem.
Their ability to cope with situations is terrible.
They also face high anxiety, little to no life skills, and an unreasonable sense of entitlement.
Why does Torpedo Parenting Exist?
Torpedo parenting can be attributed to a considerable number of reasons.
One of the biggest reasons is the fear of some unfavorable consequences. Like the child getting a lousy grade or failing a class.
Or them not being able to make it into a sports team or the band.
Or the son or daughter missing out on a job opportunity which seems really crucial to the parent.
The parents think they are protecting their child from failure, unhappiness, hard work, and struggle. However, these things are essential to teach the child crucial skills in life.
The absence of a guarantee for results in life is not life-threatening.
Anxiety Deep Within
Secondly, this kind of parenting can spark from the anxiety held inside the parents.
Parents worry about a lot of things far ahead in future like the economy and financial needs of their children, the workplace trends and the full world outside the door of their house which makes them establish a significant amount of control over the lives of their children.
The worries of parents make them hold on to the false notion that they can prevent their kids from ever having to face hurt, pain and disappointment in life if they try to guide it based on their ideologies and experiences.
Parenting Influenced by Peer Pressure! Can you Beat It?
Being in the company of other torpedo parents can also have a peer pressure type of effect as when parents see other parents being too involved in the lives of their children, they end up judging themselves upon whether or not they are being involved in the lives of their children.
The thought of not being involved enough makes them feel as if they are being bad parents and induces a feeling of guilt which makes them overdo the job of parenting to satisfy their thoughts about the matter of involvement.
This overcompensation can come as excessive attention and control over the child’s life.
Finally, torpedo parents are usually people who didn’t get enough attention while growing up.
They wish to make up for it by giving lots of attention to their children and trying hard to be more and more involved in their child’s life.
However, in an attempt to make sure that the child feels loved and not ignored or neglected, parents overdo things which do more harm for the life of their child that good for anyone.
Signs that You Might be a Torpedo Parent
No one sets out to be a torpedo parent. However, there is a fine line between being an amazing and loving parent and overdoing things while controlling the lives of your child excessively. And crossing this fine line is way too easy than anyone around you would like to actually admit.
Several signs might show if you are a helicopter parent. These go from subtle signs to full-blown red flags for the life of your child.
One of the most common signs is when you start to take your child’s issues in your own hands. If they had an argument with another child, more often than not, a parent would think of calling the other child’s parent and try to sort out things with them. This is the sign of a torpedo parent.
Parents’ Homework. You start doing the work your child has received from the school. This is not only counterproductive for your kid but also takes away the opportunity from them to learn how to solve problems. All just to make sure they don’t feel stuck or frustrated.
Parent or Schoolmates? You try to be a part of your child’s life as part of a class or a sports team.
This includes talking to the coach or the teacher and offering them suggestions on how they should work even when you are by no means related to or sufficiently knowledgeable about the teaching process as the personnel.
It’s their job to teach your child things, and they are qualified for the task more so than you. Over involving yourself, in this case, will only hamper the advance of your child towards the goal.
Follow Them Like Torpedo
You keep running around the back of your child at all times.
You go to drop them everywhere they go be it parties or events.
You take your teen kids to their friend’s house, which is just a few blocks away from your home.
You text your college-going child multiple times a day while they are in college only to check on their ‘progress’ through the day.
You have a great long list of restrictions which your child has to adhere to.
If these things are right for you, you need to cut some slack because you are hovering too much in your child’s life.
Excusing Child from Daily Chores
You are doing too many chores in your own house even when your child is a teen or even a college student.
Growing children need to be given responsibilities to learn to function.
Just because you can do all this doesn’t mean that you are right to do so.
It is also possible that you are too protective, which is another sign of torpedo parents.
Not letting your child take risks and preventing failure for your kid, by all means, is something you find yourself doing? Another red flag for you!
How can You Rectify This Parenting Defect?
Torpedo parenting can leave effects in your child’s life, which can last forever. If the right steps aren’t taken soon enough, it can lead to a lost battle for your child. And the timing is essential as, beyond an extent, it is impossible to reverse or even try to recover from the damage done to your kid.
Hence, if you found that you might be a helicopter parent who has been hovering over your child’s life, being too involved and controlling more than you should, you need to start making changes. And quickly!
You can do some simple things to start on a path to better parenting. But there is no better way to do so than to teach your child some basics skills needed in life.
These can be as simple as doing laundry to changing tires in the garage.
Then you need to teach your child how to interact with people in person.
Next step involves giving responsibilities to your children.
They need to be given chores so that they can learn and incorporate them into their routine. You need to teach them to wake up early on their own.
You need to teach your children how to deal with problems and how to solve those using deductive skills.
Not always will they come across things they know, so it is vital to learn improvisation.
Finally, you need to teach your children to learn and respectfully interact with their teachers. Let them navigate through their own life and assist them only when absolutely necessary.
This will make your children gladder in future than you can ever imagine when they can lead an independent and happy life!
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