Hey, have you ever closely observed how does a butterfly emerges from its cocoon? If yes, had anyone lost patience and literally gave a helping hand for that little creature to come out of it?? Perhaps, kids do that. However, we adults will be holding ourselves back because we know that it can’t fly if it isn’t evolving through its own struggles. So that is it, as simple as that. Then why we parents are so overprotective when it comes to raising our own kids??
From the moment the tiny heart ticks in your womb you take all the measures to build a protective shield for your baby. I remember all the funny things I did. Switching to super healthy diet, changing the dressing pattern, giving rest to the pointed heels, sleeping positions.. whoa… What not!!
Let’s discuss about some of the serious repercussions that this kind of parenting can cause to your kid’s future.
- Kids will lack problem solving skills.
- Highly dependent kids.
- Lack of decision-making skills.
- Negative effect on parent – child relation in a long run.
I don’t say that I was raised as an independent, self reliant kid. And I recollect the vague memories of my mom selecting dresses and toys for me , helping me with my home works, setting timetable sometimes, even feeding me on busy exam days…Well in those days I had no complaints, rather I enjoyed it until the situations came which demanded my own decisions. And I saw myself struggling to get through without my parents.
In whole my life time I had got chance to closely observe how the south Asian families and western families raise their kids. I can indubitably say that these western families do better job in raising independent kids. Well, occasionally I felt that the freedom these kids are enjoying is bit on the higher side. To be precise how much ever desirable one thing is, even if it is good when we dwell too much upon it will be toxic. So, let’s try to exercise something in the middle.
So here are some of my findings to make your kid smart, independent and self reliant.
- Train them to be independent from younger ages.
- Avoid co-sleeping.
- Let them feed by themselves from early years of life.
- Don’t help them with the homework’s, dishes, setting timetables, jackets, shoes instead, give them age appropriate duties at home like arranging the shoe racks, arranging news papers etc.
- Involve them in household chores like cooking, cleaning, laundry…trust me its fun.
- Problem solving.
Suppose, your kid falls down and got bruises while playing with other kids. And you are blaming other kids/their parents for your kid’s action In-front of your kid.
Or there was a kind of quarrel between kid’s group and you are speaking up for your kid. These kinds of action literally pull-down your kid’s ability for problem solving in future. So wait, relax and see how your kid handle those situations.
- Decision making.
- Let them select their toys and dresses from early ages of life. Well, every child is unique. He/she will have their own taste and preferences. (It is also never late to teach them the value of money.)
- Let them choose their life/career they want. (as parents we can give them proper guidance and courage to do things by themselves also set a good example and give age appropriate control.
By reading through above steps, some of you may feel it as elementary. Well its not!! I know as parents our unconditional love and anxiety hold us back in providing the freedom each kid should poses.
However, your first job is to calm your own nerves- most of us know when we were catastrophizing. Secondly, take a look at their previous behaviour and use it as a clue. That will give you an idea about the degree of freedom that you can give to your kid. Finally, talk to your child and set some appropriate limits. This thumb rule is helpful for everything from when you to allow your toddler to walk down to school bus stop alone to when to allow your teenager to drive on the highway.
To conclude, if your children are independent, you have provided them with the belief that they are competent and capable of taking care of themselves. So set a good example, proper guidance and give age appropriate control.
lets take this COVID-19 lock down season as a better way to connect to your kids. Stay home..stay safe.