Do we do too much for our children?
In our efforts to spare them pain and suffering are we also eliminating the important lessons of life?
In an article in the Herald Sun last week, social worker Ms Chris Daicos, who presents seminars at schools, said that most parents had the best interests of their children at heart but needed to learn to “step back a little bit”.
Ms Daicos went on to say that by developing independent, resilient children we are developing socially competent, empathetic kids that have good problem-solving skills, communication skills and a sense of humor.
I have to agree. We need to step back to allow our kids to step forward. Children need to experience hurt, anger and frustration in order to learn that life is a series of ups and downs.
These feelings are a normal part of existence and should be allowed to be expressed. By shielding them from this we are protecting them from some of life’s really important lessons.
We must let them try and fail and then encourage them to try again if they are to build confidence in their own problem solving abilities.
When we do everything for our children we are in effect saying to them that we don’t think that they are capable. By giving them the chance to try things by themselves and in their own way we are communicating our confidence in them and that in turn builds their self-esteem.
It is also obviously quite important to carefully nurture your child’s confidence in accordance with their abilities. I try to allow my child a range of tasks so that she can succeed in some and fail in others thereby enabling me to encourage all of her efforts regardless of the outcomes.
I wouldn’t want to crush my child’s confidence by raising the bar too high too early but equally I wouldn’t want overconfidence and the inability to deal with failure due to inadequate testing.
If children are to build resilience and tenacity they will need to be able to deal with failure and disappointment as well as success and achievement.