“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Denis Waitley
Overprotective parents tend to “rescue” kids from problems to save them from any pain or suffering. Kids often love this kind of parenting—at the time. But overprotection can prevent them from learning the life skills they’ll need as adults.
It’s especially important to avoid overprotecting teens. They need to learn to take care of themselves, especially as they will probably move away from home in a few years.
To make sure you’re not an overprotective parent:
- Avoid rescuing your teen from small problems. If he has forgotten his geometry book at school and he has homework to do, he’ll have to figure something out. (Obviously, if your child is dealing with a larger problem, like being bullied, it’s fine to step in and help him.)
- Give your teen responsibilities around the house. Teach him how to do his own laundry, make his doctors’ appointments, cook simple meals and mow the lawn. These skills will definitely come in handy when he’s an adult living on his own. And being responsible at home may carry over into school.
(Source: J. Nelsen and L. Lott, Positive Discipline for Teenagers: Resolving Conflict with Your Teenage Son or Daughter, Prima Publishing.)
To read more articles with ideas for parents to help their children, view the April edition of the Parents Make the Difference newsletters provided by VBCPS Parent Connection. Editions for elementary, middle and high school parents are posted monthly on vbschools.com.