“Overparenting” Can Delay Independence
Who doesn’t want to be an awesome parent? But, when does being an awesome mom or dad cross over to just doing too much for your child? As parents, we are hard-wired to take care of our child’s every need. Over-functioning parents can possibly raise under-functioning children. The key to raising independent children is striking the right balance.
To avoid doing too much for your child and to prepare him/her for independence, follow these simple tips:
Teach Problem-Solving Skills
If your child has a problem, instead of rushing to save him, allow him/her to solve it on his own. Try coaching your child and then encouraging them to finish tasks independently without hovering or interfering. The more you allow children to think for themselves, the more independent they will become.
Don’t Fear Mistakes
There is nothing wrong with failing! Even though it may be difficult for you, allow your child to make mistakes. This will help your child learn much-needed problem-solving skills.
Let your child know how much you care for him/her no matter what and that you are always there for him/her. Take the time to gently help your child understand that you want to him/her to resolve the conflict on their own, rather than always seeking help from others.
Allow for Assertiveness
Allow your child to stand for up for his/her rights. Giving your child the freedom to make decisions helps boost self-confidence and leads to independence. But, be sure to set boundaries so your child knows exactly what your expectations and limitations are.
Hold your children accountable for age-appropriate responsibilities. Remind your child that things like household chores are shared responsibilities and are important to the family’s comfort and happiness. Increasing a child’s responsibilities and doing less for them gives them the best possible chance of becoming self-sufficient, independent adults.
Parenting is never easy. We want the best for our kids and are willing to do almost anything to keep our children healthy and happy. Children can’t become independent on their own – they need your guidance and support. Think of independence as a gift you give your children that they will cherish and benefit from throughout their entire lives. And remember, it’s not always what you do for your kids but what you teach your kids to do for themselves