It used to be called spoiling. Now it’s referred to as “overparenting”, “helicopter parenting” or “death grip parenting”. Call it what you will, it is a trend that some believe is leading toward a generation of underprepared, overindulged adults.
As parents, we all want to protect our kids, give them what they want, and make sure they are happy. But this desire, according to some mental health experts, may be undermining their abilities and self-confidence. This can ultimately create adults who can’t care for themselves–as generations before them have done.
Doing too much for our kids can leave them over-dependent. And while some parents may like that, this ultimately may backfire into kids feeling resentful when they discover they can’t care for themselves.
So how do you know whether you are overparenting? Here are some warning signs:
Too Much Praise
Are you constantly praising your child? While kids need praise, too much can be detrimental as well. Limit praise to appropriate amounts, for significant accomplishments
Too Many Rewards
Like constant praise, too many rewards can lead a child to believe as an adult that they will be given rewards for completing even small, basic tasks. Leave rewards to when really deserved.
Too Few Responsibilities
While we all want to give our kids a chance to be kids, giving them too few responsibilities will have consequences. It is best to hold children accountable, with age-appropriate tasks, in order to build a sense of responsibility.
Too Much Help
Do you find yourself helping without being asked? Stop. Allow your child to build confidence by completing tasks on their own, even if it means failing. Problem-solving is an important skill. It is one that builds a sense of accomplishment.
The last thing we want as parents is to send our kids into the world without being able to “adult”. So allowing them to grow, without hovering over them, is actually one of the best gifts we can give them before they leave home.