A young child does need protection (since "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child" -- Proverbs 22:15), though many parents (as I have been at times) could stand to give there child more room. But definitely by the teen years, a child needs significantly more independence. They need to feel the weight of responsibility and consequences, while also feeling the joy of accomplishment.
The moral: Don't be a life-long helicopter parent.
See this graphic below, and be sure to click through to the article by The Art of Manliness, for more on this topic.
- Parent Link (an equipping event by Grace Church, from January 31)
**first image courtesy of isakoc via sxc.hu; second image from Art of Manliness