Are you doing TOO MUCH for your kids?

Is that even possible as a parent? Of course it is. I see it happen often where parents continue to try to do things for their children that they should be able to do on their own. I guess this hit home with me when my son came home with a report card that said he wasn’t able to zip his own coat (or maybe it was button it) but either way that made me think about how I am training him to be able to do things on his own. 

I hear from the children’s side often when they talk about parents doing things for them and having boundaries that are not age appropriate (like too strict for the age). When parents do this they are reinforcing a child’s reliance on them. Which is what leads to frustration on the part of the parent and the child. As children reach milestones in life both they and the parent are ready for them to be more responsible and to do things on their own. But how much of that lands on the parent either doing it for them or not training them to do it for themselves?

I know that when I talk to students in schools I tell them that I am already preparing my children to leave the house. I don’t mean that I am pushing them out or even that I will be ready for them to leave when they graduate but I do want them to be as prepared as they possible can. And if my wife and I are not the ones doing the primary preparing then who will?

Parents, I would suggest taking an inventory of what your child is able to do. Then compare that with their age and looking at what other children around them are able to do. Obviously you have to make good parental decisions in this, for example having age appropriate boundaries. With that in mind though, make sure that you are doing all you can to prepare your child for what the future holds. Making sure that your desire to keep them around is not crippling them and the responsibilities they need to have as they grow and mature.

Posted on Feb 14, 2011 at 8:00 am

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