I recently read an article on overparenting from the Reader's digest's current issue (www.rd.com, September 2005). It discussed how today's parents have tried to create a perfect childhood for their children. By doing so, it may acutually hurt the children's ability to face real life in the future.
At the end, it showed an example of a good parent. A good parent makes sure his/her child feel he or she is listened to, understood and supported by the parent. The best gift a parent can give to a child is to teach him or her how to be himself or herself.