Overprotective Parenting is Unchristian

Overprotective Parenting is NOT Christian

Is THIS Christian???

Why did God become man? God could have stopped Adam and Eve from sinning. He could have let us live in our sin after Adam. He could have saved us just by decree. But none of these seem proper.

St Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo (Why God became man) is a classic for answering this question. We have offended God beyond what we can repay. God has the power to repay it but it is proper that man repay it thus the incarnation. Why is it proper for man to repay it? Because he was the one who offended God.

The core of Anselm’s argument is that actions have consequences. The core of overprotective parenting is to protect teens from the consequences of their actions.

If our sin did not have any consequences, Christ would not have needed to die on the cross. He may have become man to teach us but not to die. This is one of the most central tenants of our Faith yet it is denied by overprotective parenting.

Over protective parenting is unchristian in 3 more ways.

First, an overprotective parent will yell at a teacher who fails Johnny or coach who never plays him. They will manipulate and use offensive language to get their way. This teaches kids that we can use such means. In a way it teaches them that the ends justify the means. (And the means are actually bad for the kid as shown above.)

Second, overprotective parenting – when involving getting favors from others – teaches kids a distinction between people where we protect our clan but we don’t care about anyone else. Yet part of the Christian revolution to the world is universal brotherhood. The ancient world practiced “love your family and hate your enemies,” yet Jesus said “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Finally, a Christian is called by baptism to be a missionary. This is impossible for a child who receives over-protective parenting. The fear of everything outside their circle probably even keeps them from being a missionary as an adult.

If we want teens to be missionaries, to learn that all men are their brothers, to realize means don’t justify ends, and to realize why Christ died; overprotective parenting needs to stop. Sure they will fall once or twice. Those falls teach them something. A knee can be bandaged but a soul only has one chance to learn and one chance to mature. If it doesn’t involve mortal sin, broken bones, or thousands of dollars of property damage, we need to let teens fall. The lesson they learn from the natural consequences will be more valuable than the painful consequences.

Note: under-protective parenting can also be unchristian but I focused on overprotective parenting because the reasons are less obvious and it’s more prevalent from what I’v seen (Statistics such as 83% of parents insist on supervising their children when playing outside confirm what I’ve seen.)

Fr Matthew P. Schneider, LC

Teens need to experience Christ. I am a Catholic religious priest with the Legion of Christ who tries to help them do that. Part of doing that is running this blog. Currently I'm stationed in the DC Metro area preparing material for RCSpirituality.org (Regnum Christi Spirituality Center), studying an advanced Theology degree, and helping youth ministry freelance.


Fr Matthew P. Schneider, LC


Teens need to experience Christ. I am a Catholic religious priest with the Legion of Christ who tries to help them do that. Part of doing that is running this blog. Currently I'm stationed in the DC Metro area preparing material for RCSpirituality.org (Regnum Christi Spirituality Center), studying an advanced Theology degree, and helping youth ministry freelance.



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