It’s alright, take a deep breath. We understand it’s a scary world, but your kid still has to live in it. Sure, you want to protect your child from any harm that may come along the way but being an overprotective parent can abstain your child from learning and thereby hinder his true potential. You don’t want him to grow up to be that man who cannot even take his own decisions and always needs help with everything that he does, right?
So help him become capable of taking care of himself and deal with problems efficiently, instead of being obsessively overprotective about him. Here are 5 major ways to avoid being an overprotective parent that you need to try out:
1. Let them do it on their own and make mistakes:
Overprotective parents develop a habit of interfering in their child’s activities. Be it his class homework or household chores, his parents will always be there to do it for them. Sure it will be easier and quicker to do it yourself but your kids will learn nothing but to expect help with everything. Let them do things on their own. Be there to guide them through the process initially but allow them to get some hands-on experience. Even if they make mistakes or fail first few times, encourage them to try one more time.
A wise man once said, “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up!” Life is never easy and fair for anyone, even for the wisest or the richest. Your child will have to taste the bitterness of life at some point. In order to pick themselves up from such a fall, they will need to know how to accept and deal with failure. Only then they’ll learn to get over failure and never give up until they finally succeed.
2. Don’t be a control freak:
Overprotective parents believe in following the authoritative parenting style, where they control the lives of their children. They will set rules and guidelines for their kids to follow, which if they break, they'll have to face punishments. From what they can eat to where they can go, from who they can be friends with to what they are allowed to do, everything is decided by their parents. Enough already, let them live their own lives. Cut them some slacks, let them be free. The more you will control them now, the less confident they'll be when they grow up.
3. Give suggestions, not orders:
Your kids need to learn how to think and come up with ideas to solve an issue. By constantly giving orders and telling your kids what to do or how to do something, you actually are teaching your kids to follow orders. Allow them to use their brains and figure out what can be or should be done. Give them suggestions or advice, if they need help but leave the decision making on them. It will help them become responsible and develop a problem-solving mentality.
4. Stop worrying so much:
What if something happens to my little one? If something goes wrong and my baby gets into trouble? There will be lots of “if”s and “but”s in the mind of an overprotective parent. If you find yourself constantly worrying about your child, using “Don’t” and “Stop” quite often, checking on him every now and then or calling him every hour to know where he is and what he is doing, then you already are becoming overprotective.
While your child’s safety surely should be your top most priority, but obsessing over it and constantly reminding him of danger will do no good. Instead, teach him to differentiate between the rights and the wrongs, the goods and the bads. Let go of your negative thoughts and focus more on the positives.
5. Trust your kids:
Remember, you won’t always be there around your kids to do everything for them and solve all of their problems. Only by teaching them how to solve problems and make the right decisions, you can truly empower your kids. Trust your kids’ abilities and give them the freedom to solve their own problems. When you start believing your kid, it shows in your attitude and cares towards them. This inspires them to work harder and succeed so that they can make you proud.
Yes, it is heartbreaking to see those huge teardrops rolling down those teeny-weeny eyes when they fail at something or gets into trouble. But rather than buying new toys or chocolate to cheer them up, talk to them and teach them how to deal with such feelings and fix those situations. Don’t let your panics and worries overshadow your trust in them. Calm your nervousness and focus on helping your kids learn important life lessons that make them confident and competent individuals when they grow up.