All parents try to be there for their kids. You too might want to be there for your kids and try to give them the best most of the time, but there are just some situations when you have to let your kids learn for themselves about what’s best for them.
Over parenting is when parents are excessively involved in their children’s day-to-day life. It can mean that parents become overprotective and shield their kids from experiences they need so that they can learn.
If you want to steer clear of this mistake, keep the following in mind:
1. Look Out For Warning Signs
Sometimes, if your child has already been over parented, they may respond with extreme intensity to minor situations. They may also turn to you for help all the time, or demand things in exchange for behaving the way you expect them to. These are warning signs and you should avoid giving in to your child’s demands at this stage. Allow your child to figure a few things out for themselves. You can always give them advice, but avoid solving problems for them.
2. Avoid Too Much Praise Or Criticism
It’s good to tell your kid when they do a good or a bad thing. But avoid making praise or criticism too extreme. While the right amount of praise and criticism helps your child build self-esteem and character, too much praise or criticism can make your child very dependent on these for validation. They may also develop poor self-esteem or give too much importance to the things they do.
3. Teach Your Child How To Do Things
Don’t do everything for your child. Teach them simple chores as well as other skills. From cooking, cleaning and quick fixes, make sure to teach your kid to do these things the next time they come to you for help. Involve them in household activities, and allow them to help you with tasks once you teach them how. Having everything done for them can make it really difficult for them to be independent adults. Always keep this in mind.
4. Encourage Responsibility And Accountability
Divide work among your family members. Include your kids in this sharing of work. Set certain work that your child is supposed to do regularly. In case they make mistakes, ask them about it, or tell them to correct them. Making your child ‘in-charge’ can give them a sense of independence and responsibility which will carry over to their adulthood. Holding them accountable for their mistakes helps them understand that there are consequences to every action.
5. Allow them to make choices
Decisions have to be made on an everyday basis. Start with letting your child pick their outfits and dress themselves. Avoid making all their choices for them, as this can be quite frustrating for them. You may give them advice on how to make choices, but make sure to let them know that the choice is theirs and they will have to live by it.
6. Help Them Brainstorm For Solutions
Your children are going to be faced by challenges. It’s a good thing to support them through these, but never make the solution simple. Make sure that your kids take time to think of solutions for their problems. Giving them solutions as soon as they ask you for one can affect your child’s creativity and ability to think clearly. You could sit and talk to them about their ideas, brainstorm collectively, but definitely avoid making the solution a one-step destination.
7. Talk To Other Parents
You’re naturally going to worry about your kids, or whether you’re doing the right things by giving them this independence. It always helps to talk to your friends who are also parents so that you can relate to them. It helps to speak out your worries, cause you will realise that they might be a little exaggerated.
Don’t worry too much about it. Take it step by step. You’ll always want to help your child, and it’s okay to do so when your child really needs it. But make sure that the day to day of your child’s habits help them grow into independent, strong and confident adults.
They’ll thank you for it later. Do you struggle with over parenting? What do you do to overcome it? Let us know!