Clarinda Brandão, RP
Are We Over-parenting Our Children?
Many parents have started asking me "Am I over-parenting?" "Am I too over protective." "Am I a helicopter parent?"
These are all natural questions. After all, we're trying so hard to be the best parents we can be. Personally, I dislike the term "helicopter" parent; I think it's too judgmental and an unkind label. (I don't like any form of labels).
Studies have shown that more and more parents are being "too involved" in their children's lives; arranging their child to be in the same classroom as their best friend, making special meals for them to bring to a friend's home because they're picky eaters, picking out their child's outfits and helping them get dressed (as late as 10 years of age). Some parents will go as far as catering to their child's every need even when it doesn't fit the parent's guidelines. This in my opinion is over-parenting.
Children need to learn to be independent, they need to learn that life isn't always that easy. They need to understand that they need to be open to new experiences that may feel scary or unfamiliar at first. As parents it is our job to create security and help them develop healthy coping skills to meet life's tough moments. We want to create confident adults.Studies also show that children that are overly parented are likely to be more emotionally unbalanced and have false expectations (assume that everything must go their way and not do well when it doesn't).
With saying all that, that doesn't mean we can't cuddle our toddlers and treasure the moments we have with our children. It also does not mean letting your baby cry it out so they can learn to self-soothe needs to be done. It just means to be cautious of how we are with our children and to try our best to not over react when they fall, but to encourage them to stand and continue to walk.