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  • Writer's pictureJessica Anorve

Setting Healthy Boundaries with Overprotective Parents: A Guide for College Students

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Going to college is an exciting time of growth and self-discovery. But for some students, it can also be a challenging time of navigating overprotective parents who have a hard time letting go. While it's natural for parents to want to protect their children, overprotective parenting can have negative impacts on college students' emotional and mental well-being.

Research has shown that overprotective parenting can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and difficulty making decisions. It can also hinder college students' ability to develop independence, confidence, and resilience.

So how can college students establish healthy boundaries with overprotective parents? Here are some evidence-based strategies to consider:

Communicate assertively: It's important to be clear and direct with your parents about your needs and boundaries. Use "I" statements, such as "I need some space to figure things out on my own," and avoid blaming or accusing language.

Negotiate compromises: If your parents are resistant to your boundaries, try to find a compromise that works for both of you. For example, you could agree to check in with them once a week instead of every day.

Seek outside support: Consider talking to a counselor, mentor, or trusted friend about your situation. They can provide a listening ear, offer guidance, and help you develop a plan for setting boundaries.

Remember, setting boundaries with overprotective parents can be a challenging process, and it's okay to seek outside support. Here are some resources that may be helpful:

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Provides mental health resources and support groups for college students and their families.

Psychology Today: Offers articles and resources on setting boundaries with family members.

"Boundaries" by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend: A book that provides practical advice on how to set and maintain boundaries in relationships.

Setting healthy boundaries with overprotective parents is a process, but it's an important step in developing independence and self-confidence. Remember, you have the right to make your own decisions and live your own life. Take the first step today and start setting boundaries that work for you.
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