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Where do parents draw the line between being concerned and being controlling?

18 Answers
Last Updated: 12/21/2021 at 2:03pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Stacy Overton, PhD.


I am an enthusiastic life-long learner and also a professor of counseling. I have a passion for peoples stories and helping to guide and empower the human spirit.

Top Rated Answers
March 16th, 2015 9:14am
Parents start to cross the line when they check their child's texts, look through their child's photos and not let their child go to fun things (eg: parties, sleepovers). Yes, if they sense some distress in their child they should try to find out whats wrong but not looking through their child's private life.
March 11th, 2015 2:54am
being controlled just means they want what's best for you being concered is because they love you and have your best interest at heart
April 6th, 2015 8:35pm
When you become the person that they want you to be and steer away from the person YOU want to be.
September 27th, 2016 7:49pm
It depends of the parents. Parents are human too, and to err is human. Try to talk it out with, them, explain what's important to you about whatever it is you want to do, and try to get them on your side. If they still say no, then I don't know.
January 30th, 2017 10:59pm
Being a concerned parent is not letting your child do things that are a risk to the child. Being controlling is stopping them from doing harmless things, giving them no freedom to experience things for themselves and excessively checking up on their child
June 19th, 2017 3:28am
Concern is when u just want to know how your child is doing and whats happening in their lives. Controlling is when you want to intervene in everything your child does and you want to always know whats happening.
April 8th, 2015 4:06am
Concerned is making sure that you are okay, listening and being supportive. Controlling is disregarding your feelings and trying to take matters into their own hands.
April 26th, 2015 4:52pm
Concerned is keeping the computer in the living/family room. Controlling is only allowing the child on the computer for an hour a day and you must be next to them while they are on the computer. You draw the line on your child's maturity. your child's common sense and child's age. Who they hang out with is another important factor. Also, another factor is your child's overall emotional and psychological development.
August 17th, 2015 9:54pm
Depends on how much they love you. You need to show them you are responsible and good enough to make your own decisions.
October 26th, 2015 3:40pm
In my opinion, if a child is old enough to understand reasoning (and to have a personal life), you shouldn't invade their personal life in a way you wouldn't with your spouse.
January 5th, 2016 11:51am
Well it depends on the parents and the parenting style they adopt.. so you have to find it yourself I guess
March 14th, 2016 9:02am
Somewhere between where the child is willing to welcome or disregard their parents input. From there on I can expect an attentive and graceful attempt to be recognized by the child as a source of good intention. hopefully the child will formulate a trustworthy relationship with the parental figure and learn to adapt and compromise for the sake of good will. It can be confusing for anyone to secure their sense of identity in any given circumstance where a higher authority figure insists on good intention, and ultimately it can be up to the adolescent, and the only thing you can expect of this dual outcome is a clash of confidence of whats right between the two. Where you can come face to face with a parents perseverance and their steadfast love might you find a confidant offspring standing up for her self, for her inner light, and what she too knows what is right. in the mist of it all, all we have is the confidence of our selves and the care for its integrity that we may be held responsible for,
August 16th, 2016 1:52am
Well...different parents think different things and teach their kids different. There really isn't a line, it's just different parenting skills
October 2nd, 2016 7:35am
I personally don't see the two as mutually exclusive. Parents who exhibit controlling behavior do so because they're concerned. Parents who express concern are expressing a passive-aggressive form of control, albeit done consciously or unconsciously. Parents who leave it to their kids to make their own decisions have retired their jobs as parents and thus express neither concern nor exhibit controlling behavior. The conflicts arise when there's a mismatch; either a son or daughter seeks a parent figure when the parent(s) don't care to fill the role(s), or the parent(s) seek to be the parent figure when the son/daughter isn't seeking it.
July 11th, 2017 6:57pm
Very simply put, the line is like this: Providing input is concern. Making the final decision is control.
February 26th, 2018 8:22pm
In my experience, parents can go over the line quickly. If there is a concern, have them talk to you about it and come up with a solution together. If they take action for you without hearing your thoughts on the matter, then they are controlling the situation. If you and your parent(s) come up with a plan of action together, then they are being helpful.
August 7th, 2018 5:57pm
Being concerned for their child is fine, showing that your worried about their future, the actions they may be making, ect. However, if the worry turns into the parent telling their children that they're making bad life choices, that the parent wished they'd never let the child do certain things (like going to a certain college, or moving out) then it can start to become emotionally controlling, making the child feel guilty about their choices in life just because the parent disapproves.
December 21st, 2021 2:03pm
Usually when you start to feel like you don’t have control over your own life. When decisions are being made for you instead of your parents’ opinion being incorporated into it. Being concerned is when they’ve let you know that they’re worried and they do it purely out of compassion. Taking steps to control it WITH your permission is being concerned but when it is spontaneous and you haven’t given permission, that’s when it becomes a problem and that’s when a parent is being controlling. It can also feel like restriction and that you are unable to free yourself from their grasp.