When a child is born, he seems so fragile that it’s only natural for parents to be extra protective. Parents feel responsible for having brought these babies into the world, which makes them want to safeguard their tots from life's tumbles and turns. But for how long and to what extent?

Consider a mom who won't let her eight-year-old-daughter ride the bus for a class field trip because she does not trust bus drivers on the road. Or how about a mom who won't allow her twin boys to play anywhere outside the house because they might get bitten by mosquitoes? While they might think they're protecting their children, they might also be inhibiting their kids' social and emotional growth.

Are you guilty of being an overprotective parent?
Below, we've listed five reasons why keeping your kids too sheltered might not be the best way to bring them up.

Want more parenting advice? Check these out on FN:

(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine, Family section as "Teacher says" in July 2006; adapted for use in Female Network)

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