Blog Archive

Parenting: Are You Doing Too Much for Your Child?

by Janet Lehman, MSW

As parents, many of us do things for our kids that we were able and expected to do for ourselves when we were children. Our parents didn’t often feel the need to negotiate with our sports coach, solve our every problem, or entertain us in our free time. A big difference from today, when all too often we are over-involved in many areas of our children’s lives. 

Sounds funny, I know.  How can a parent be too involved or do too much for their child?  Isn’t that just being a good parent?  But when we don’t expect our kids to take responsibility for chores or their behavior, and we attempt to smooth away all the bumps and bruises that are a natural part of childhood, we aren’t doing our kids a favor.  Instead, we’re bringing them up to avoid taking personal responsibility and to expect that others will take care of things for them – even when they are really able to take care of themselves We’re teaching our kids that life is full of unmanageable problems, when what we want them to learn are the basic skills to manage those problems.  Stepping back and taking on the role of coach and teacher instead of “do-er” and “fixer” was one of the hardest things I had to do as a parent.  But as my husband James Lehman said, it is also one of the best things you can do to help your child build their social and problem-solving skills and learn responsibility.

When you come home after having to work late and find that your child’s homework isn’t finished (again), ask yourself these questions before doing anything: Whose chore is it? Mine or my child’s? Who should be responsible for getting it done?

Read more: http://www.empoweringparents.com/are-you-doing-too-much-for-your-child.php#ixzz38GqOJZX4