My parents were overprotective because you could get kidnapped and bombs were exploding in the streets.
I think parents generally know what's best for their children. But I suppose it's possible to be overprotective.
Now that I have kids, I'm probably more overprotective than I've ever been. My wife's nickname for me is 'red alert.' I sometimes check just to see if the kids are breathing. But I try not to be a helicopter parent.
Parenting goes beyond providing foods, shelter, clothing, and other basic necessities. Nurturing a child to travel in the direction of positive enlightenment, is arguably the greatest thing that you could do for a child.