Parenting vs. Over-parenting

Like parenting wasn’t complicated enough, now we have another term to think about – over-parenting. When we are still struggling to find our way through parenting, why are we complicating things further by trying to over-parent? Parenting itself comes with its share of worry towards children and to add to that, over-parenting exaggerates that anxiety. While trying to do so much for the children parents don’t realize that they are turning their children into weaker children than into stronger adults.

What exactly is the difference?

Parenting has you following up with your children’s homework and checking whether it’s done. Over -parenting is you doing it for them so they don’t get into trouble.

Parenting is you reminding them to carry everything important and leaving it at that; over-parenting is you running after them with their forgotten items to save them from the consequence.

Parenting is you teaching them how to fight their way through – with other kids and adults. Over-parenting is you fighting for them.

Now let’s not be mistaken. One is not terming the former right and latter wrong; or vice versa. However, parents must be aware that when they indulge in over-parenting, they are satisfying their parental instincts and solving their child’s problems temporarily but are only setting higher expectations for the future and lowering the child’s ability to fight for themselves.

Furthermore, it’s interesting to notice how parents often refer to their kids’ activities as their own too. Or kids’ exams as their own exams. “Yeah, WE are busy with exams this week” or “WE are so stressed about the project” “ WE are working on the job interview”

To be involved in all the kids’ activities is one thing but to be a part of that and include yourself in those activities is taking a little too far.

The ultimate goal of Parenting is EMPOWERMENT and the above mentioned examples are unhelpful in raising empowered children.

 

At the point, it’s also important to stress on the need for parents to find their own hobbies. This helps the children do their work on their own and also helps parents retain individuality which will eventually help them get through the “empty nest” phase.

There are people who give up everything when their kids have exams and literally stay up with them all night. How about helping the child cope with exams on their own? If the child isn’t able to do it now at this age, how will he face bigger challenges at a later age?

When parents get down to helping the child keep every step forward, they feel they are being great, involved parents. But they are forgetting that a time will come when the child has to walk off on his own, and the fact that he/she isn’t prepared for the same will make everything so much harder. 

So while you are striving to do everything as parents to make life easy for your child, don’t forget that if they don’t learn how to face difficulties and overcome them, they will be left feeling helpless at a later stage. Parenting is good enough. Let’s stop at that. Let’s not go into the zone of over-parenting. If the kids need a break from the parents, it’s even the parents who need a breather. Let the kids figure it out. Just like how you all did when you were kids. It’s not just essential it’s also fun for them. To look back at their own mistakes; laugh at them and learn from the same.

 This blog is based on the article –

 https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/07/24/628042168/the-over-parenting-crisis-in-school-and-at-home

 

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