As parents, we all have natural instincts to protect our children. And yes, we certainly need to. We definitely need to safeguard our children from running into a busy street or burning their hands on a hot stove. But, as parents what we also need to be aware of is , where and when to stop.
Today, I am going to write about “Over Parenting”. Google defines over parenting as “Be excessively involved in the day-to-day life of one’s child, typically in the desire to shield from difficult situations or help them succeed”.
But, in my opinion over parenting is much more than what google defines it to be. Read on.
Do you identify yourself with any of the below traits?
- Not assigning age specific chores – I am sure it is very satiating to help your kids in their chores. Do you carry their school bags, polish their shoes, select their dress, do their projects? Please restrict it right away. I identify these skills as life saving skills and we need to enable our kids to make their own basic meal, do their laundry etc etc.
- Take decisions on behalf of your kids – Do you think for your kids and take decisions on their behalf. I am sure the cascading action is to convince them that it is the best decision taken. Children need to be given the room for their thought. Allow them to think for themselves and help themselves.
- Help them before they ask – Do you end up doing their school projects? Do you prepare their bed, pack their school bags, clean their shelves even before they ask your help? Please stop it right away. Let them be exposed to the need and call out for help.
- Value of money – This comes into picture as your kids grow into teenagers. Do you allot an amount for pocket money and micromanage the same. Does it sound good when you read it? Let them have their space.
- Nudging at every step – Do you decide what they wear? What they eat? What skill they should learn? Stop nudging. Teach them to think for themselves.
- Praising them at every step – There is a thin line of difference between appreciation and praise. Do not praise them for every step they take, this deprives their vision and lowers their expectations for achievement.
If you recognize yourself with any of the above, please stop it right away. Does it not give goosebumps to visualize your kids growing into a confident, independent human being who can survive in any part of the globe? Trust me, this attitude could be rooted in your kids only when they independently handle their tasks at home.
As they say experience is the best teacher, leave a room for your kids to self-do things. Though it might be soul satisfying to do the tasks for your children, it has an extremely corrosive impact on their overall personality.
Over parenting is over indulgence and that necessarily means disabling your kids. Children with overly involved parents do not grow up with a realistic view to the world. They are in a bubble wrap of security, safety and comfort. They transform into poor decision makers, less confident human beings.
How to deal with it?
Very simple. Better late than never. I am glad some of you have realized that you are over parenting and want to know how to deal with it.
- Realize you are over parenting. Stop it right away. Give them space to grow.
- Visualize the moment of how you want your children to handle the situation in your absence. Give them the right and balanced opportunity.
- Do not, repeat DO NOT take decisions on their behalf. It is a good practice to discuss pros and cons with them and get them involved in decision making.
- For me, personally, the most important task is DO NOT do their chores. Let them handle it themselves.
Let us build a positive environment for our children to grow into confident independent human beings.