top of page
  • Writer's pictureSimone

Anxiety series: overprotected parenting

Early exposure to overprotected parenting, sending signals that the world is a dangerous pace. When a child falls and the parents respond anxiously, the child will pick up on it and respond accordingly. Hence, not daring to try to run and explore anymore and therewith lacking experience in the future and be even more vulnerable.

Once upon a time - because of that! Fairy tales are always up to date. They build bridges and stand metaphorically to understand basic human interaction. 

Fairy tales speak the language of the unconscious and thus also connect us to our unconscious self. The story of “Sleeping Beauty” provides a prime example of how fairy tales help us not only to understand crises but also to overcome them.

The “sleeping beauty” effect, as it can be called. Out of concern, parents don’t expose their children to challenges, remove all obstacles out of their way to make life easier for their children, which in itself leads to unexperienced, unskilled children. These children are unequipped for the real life and unexperienced handling challenging situations. Encountering such “sleeping beauty”children, one can observe their inadequate response to challenges.

As parents and caregivers, it is important to be aware of our actions and reactions when engaging with a child. How we respond to a child will impact the child’s response to the situation at hand. Caregivers are a sounding board of a child’s development of his internal world. 

A famous concept of these unconscious processes, is the concept defined by S. Freiberg “the Ghost in the Nursery”. It describes the intergenerational transmission of early childhood experiences. It describes the imprint of care experienced in the previous generations. The way we were raised and its impact on one’s own parenting style.

Besides ghosts, there are also protective intergenerational transmitted processes: “Angels in the Nursery”. These angles refer to states of mind when the person evokes memories of feeling especially loved, understood, or protected.





bottom of page