chapter  3
The Complexity of Control: Disentangling Parenting Dimensions
Pages 12

First, although the term involvement has a positive connotation in the research world, which is obvious from the vast literature on parent involvement in children’s schooling, the term actually has many meanings. Often when I have discussed the concept of controlling parents, friends have said to me “Oh, you mean overinvolved parents.” The term overinvolvement implies that involvement, at its extremes, can be bad for children. We think of the negative stereotype of the “soccer mom” who centers her life around her children and is around 100% of the time. How can we reconcile that concept with the idea of being controlling? How do we come to see involvement as negative? I argue that the concept of involvement has been conflated with control, and that has led to confusing findings.