Protective actions carried out by parents to their children are normal and necessary. However, there are times that parents tend to overdo it, sometimes unknowingly hurting their children in the process. Here are three possible areas in which parents should consider backing out a little to provide their children more space to decide their fate.
Protecting Children from the Consequences of Their Actions All the Time
The key words here are “all the time”. It is a natural reflex on the part of the parents to protect their children from painful consequences such as hurt feelings, physical injury, and facing punishment. If parents do this all the time, they are depriving their children of important opportunities for learning.
Of course, there is no doubt for the necessity of intervention for potentially life-threatening situations. Otherwise, parents should allow their children to discover the natural course of life, taking into consideration their ages. Shielding them from reality can be detrimental to their attainment of maturity.
Deciding Everything for the Children
At the start of life up until such time that a child attains a certain degree of physical and mental independence, parents are expected to decide everything for their children. As the child grows up however, parents should start releasing their full hold on their children and listening to their preferences becomes part of responsible parenting.
Deciding on such seemingly trivial matters such as what to wear or more important matters like choosing friends is something a child would like to have more freedom of as he or she grows up. Slowly attaining independence is a natural phase of growing up and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. It would be best for parents to opt for a happy compromise where both sides are able to accept agreed upon house rules rather than dictating on their children.
Doing Everything for the Children
Some parents are under the belief that they are the best parents if they make everything easy for their children. Not giving children any form of responsibility even if they can realistically be delegated some for their own good is counterproductive. Just imagine how children accustomed to doing nothing for themselves would fare in the outside world.
They would be practically helpless, unable to do anything without the assistance of other people. We all know that this is not always possible especially in the very hurried world we live in. Allowing children to exert effort on their own is part of raising up responsible kids.
Because of the love we have for our children, we parents sometimes forget that overprotecting is not the same as protecting them.
Originally posted on November 29, 2013 @ 5:39 am