We’ve heard about bad parenting, we’ve heard about good parenting, but what is overparenting I hear you say? How can one be an overparent? That doesn’t even make sense…? Well, as a matter of fact it does. Read on to find out!
Overparenting often comes from a sincere desire to provide your best for your children. All parents want what is best for their children and will do anything in their power to give them the world, if they could. Of course caring, loving and giving to your child is by all means necessary for them to grow into healthy, happy individuals. However, being excessively involved in the day-to-day life of your child, even with the best intentions at heart can have a boomerang effect in the long run.
Read about 5 signs of overparenting and how you can move away from them.
Take a look at your child’s weekly schedule. Is it packed with extra-curricular activities, leaving them with hardly any free time to just be kids and play? By over scheduling children’s lives at a young age, parents inadvertently prohibit them from developing the creative skills that foster problem solving, resiliency and self-confidence. Let kids be kids by allowing them just to be, to play and get their imagination rolling, let them do extra-curricular activities but with reason.
Are you over praising for any little tiny thing they do? Of course praising strengthens children’s feelings of self-worth. By overpraising them, for no specific reason, you will make them feel your standards are very high, causing the fear that they won’t be able to keep living up to them, say the psychologists Jennifer Henderlong Corpus of Reed College and Mark Lepper of Stanford. Praising them for easy tasks can make children suspect that you are dumb (don’t you know how easy this is?) or that you think they are dumb. Here’s an especially tricky finding: praising them for things they naturally enjoy can backfire if you do it too much, sapping motivation instead of urging the child on. Teach them to learn how to fail and move forward, they will thank you for this life lesson. Praise them for effort as well as success.
Have you found yourself getting involved,to sort out every little conflict your child may be having having with their friends, for them? When parents find themselves literally fighting on behalf children — with teachers, nannies, coaches, friends — they may have crossed the line. Experts say that, by fighting your child’s battles you are unintentionally communicating that you do not believe they are capable themselves. Through these battles, kids learn how to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts. This not only improves their self-esteem, but also helps them feel empowered. Of course this does not involve bullying or major incidents.
Rather than let a child feel disappointment or even hunger, you are constantly indulging your child, and are afraid to say no to them. An example is given by Dr Mogel, from her programme ‘Overparenting anonymous’ , who points to the generation of fussy eaters who have learned to be fussy because their parents confuse wants with needs. Experts advise to work up the courage to say no to your child. You will be doing them a favour and preparing them for the real world. Children need to be told no, in order to understand its importance as well as to be able to say it in a given situation. You don’t always need to reach a consensus.
You carry their school bag for them, you cut their food on their plate, you are their personal assistant and you may not feel appreciated. As children get older, let them do things for themselves and let them gain competence in ordinary work, teach them to be independent and let them gain confidence from being responsible. Being alert is important but not automatically becoming alarmed. If your child comes to you bleeding, it’s not necessarily an emergency situation. Same for the ‘bad’ report card or not making the hockey team. Ask yourself, is this alarming, or simply a challenge? Children need to be taught how to deal with situations and you are their role model. By being in control and showing them how to react in a given situation, your child will mimic you when they encounter it in the future. Build resilience in your child, they will thank you or it.
What did you think of this post? Did it help you take a step back and self-reflect on your parenting? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on this!
All parents love their kids and will do what’s best for them. Sometimes what is best for your child, isn’t always what is easiest for you.
Till next time…
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