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How to Help the Overbearing Parent

By Sarka-Jonae Miller ; Updated June 13, 2017

An overbearing parent can cause serious problems for their children. A child of an overbearing parent often feels insecure and a pressure to be perfect. This effects the child's ability to have a future romantic relationship. Overbearing parents may also bully teachers, upset their spouses and cause tension with their son-in-law or daughter-in-law. If you have a close association with a person who is an overbearing parent, there are ways you can help.

Spouses

Overbearing parents are often overbearing spouses too. They may use tactics such as belittlement, manipulation and inspiring guilt to get their way. You can help your spouse become less overbearing by pointing out his behavior, educating him on how overbearing behavior affects children and by not giving in to his tactics yourself. Communicate your feelings and remind your spouse that your needs and the needs of your child are as important as his own. Be appreciative and ask how you can make your spouse feel more secure, but do not argue or give in to demands.

Adult Children

Young children living at home may not be mature enough to handle an overbearing parent, but when children grow up and become adults, they need to make changes in how they interact with their parents. Stand up to your parent instead of acquiescing to keep the peace. Do what you know is right and accept that it might make your parent mad. Ignore her griping and attempts to manipulate you. Do not act out by rebelling against your parent's attempts at control. This simply acknowledges her power. If you do not give your parent power, you discourage her from trying.

Teachers

Overbearing parents can bully teachers into giving their children special attention or consideration. They may demand homework assignments in advance, do their child's homework, demand high grades and even badger other parents to give their child special consideration as well. As a teacher, you can discourage this behavior by refusing to give parents advance knowledge of assignments or preferential treatment to their child. Explain how the child perceives his parents' attempts to manipulate his teacher as pressure to never make mistakes. You may need to call both parents in for a meeting and possibly your school's administrators too.

In-laws

An overbearing parent, especially a mother, may have a difficult time when her child marries. This event could cause overbearing behavior like frequently dropping by unannounced. This over-involvement may make you feel inhospitable toward your parent-in-law. Although it is ideal if the child confronts his parent on his own, you should express your feelings to your spouse if he is not taking care of the problem. Remind your spouse that a couple needs time alone and suggest setting appropriate boundaries. An example solution is to suggest that your spouse ask his parent to call before dropping by.

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