Are you an overprotective parent who takes excessive interest in the life of your child a.k.a. a Helicopter parent?
Parenting styles can be classified as authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, neglectful, overprotective, narcissistic, polarised, dependent, isolated, and toxic. Of these, overprotective parents can be classified as a Helicopter Parent.
In order to give children the best life possible some parents act out on their own insecurities, thus, restricting their children from learning from their own mistakes. As a result, their children grow up anxious and utterly afraid, just like them, and are not equipped with healthy coping skills to care for themselves.
When we confuse ‘guidance’ with ‘constant interference’ in any child’s life, it is likely that the child will not learn by doing, but will have trouble dealing with issues alone later on, and will not develop a confident and an independent mindset.
On the other hand, parenting done right is quite like equipping the child with a well-strapped parachute that is made up of common-sense, courage, and kindness. And then, teaching the child to jump independently.
It is not intentionally that we choose to overstep our parenting boundaries, it is only out of concern for our children. But sometimes the best thing we, as parents, need to do is to sit back and watch our child fail, fail and fail again, while learning something new on their own in the process.
So, if you too are guilty of finding yourself in the driving seat of your child’s life, here is a 4-step guide to let your child steer their life on their own.
A 4-step guide to stop being a helicopter parent and helping your child in getting ready for the real world:
1. DO IT FOR YOUR CHILDREN
In the initial phase of life when your children are young, you will have to do things for them. This is the stage where your helicoptering would be helpful and necessary.
For example, an infant is fed, cleaned, and put to sleep by the parent; a primary school kid is taught before exams, and a high-school teen is taught about finances but the parents handle it.
2. DO IT WITH YOUR CHILDREN
By over-helping your children you might make your children feel that they can’t do it by themselves. Therefore, in the second stage of learning, you must involve the child in doing things together, where both you and your child could share a task and you can guide at every step.
For example, a preschooler could learn to eat, clean, and sleep under your guidance; a primary school kid could develop a reading habit, and a high-school teen could be given some monetary responsibility.
“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings”
3. LET THEM DO IT BY THEMSELVES; JUST OBSERVE
Do not handicap your child by making their lives easy and don’t rescue your child from challenges. Letting them do things by themselves will help them learn the natural consequences of their behaviors and actions. You want them to be independent and confident, right?
Behind every child who believes in himself or herself are parents who believed first.
4. TRUST IN THEIR ABILITY TO DO THINGS INDEPENDENTLY
Once your children have learned to do something, let them do it independently and explore their individuality and creativity.
“A lot of parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves”
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