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31 May 2020 

Hyper Parenting


Issue 5 - Mar 2013

As the size of families shrinks from one generation to the next, parents are become more and more apprehensive over the behaviour, health and wellbeing of their children. This is expected from responsible parents. However too much attention may lead to what is commonly known as the “hyper parenting phenomenon”. This behaviour is mostly seen among parents with first born babies. When an infant is born the baby is immediately exposed to excessive and over protective parenting. These young parents - especially young mums - consider the world as a dangerous ground ready to contaminate their children, so they try to keep the children as clean as possible. Excessive washing and cleaning, preventing children from touching objects or entering places which may be dirty, are all results of hyper parenting. Most parents do not realise that by sanitising the environment around their infants they are in fact depriving their children from developing a healthy immune system. A theory called ‘hygiene hypotheses’ developed on the basis of investigations on children who are kept away from parasites, germs and viruses, asserts that these children are more susceptible to allergies, asthma or other auto-immune diseases later in their lives. According to this theory children raised in large families, growing up in farms or country surrounded by pets, animals and soil are less likely to develop allergies later in life. A study of almost 12,000 families in England and Scotland found that children in larger families are less likely to develop asthma. In other words having more children means that the parents divide their attention. Another study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine reported that among almost 1200 teenagers in Canada, those who grew up on farms were 40 percent less likely to have asthma than their urban and suburban Laleh Lohrasbi ... read more