Protecting your child is a basic parental instinct. Yet, even the most well meaning parent can fall into the trap of micromanaging, over-controlling and over-protectiveness. By learning how to step back, you will greatly help with your child’s emotional and social development. Here are 5 parenting steps for becoming a less controlling parent:
1. Accept Your Child as He is
2. Let Them Go
A recent study published in Springer’s Journal of Child and Family Studies showed that the behaviour of over controlling and overprotective parents negatively affects their college-going kids. Instead of experiencing a sense of independence, these students are anxious, vulnerable and more likely to be depressed. Hovering around your college-age child does more harm than good. If she is heading off to college, simply give her your parental advice and let her go. Avoid the temptation to call too often, checking in with her tutors or driving by the college ‘just to check up’. Realize that your child needs to learn how to cope in the real world without your constant presence. This is the best protection you can give her.
3. Lay Off The Pressure to Overeducate
Parents are increasingly putting too much pressure on their children to become geniuses even before they are born. It is important to be involved in your child’s academic performance, but taking control of the whole learning process is simply intrusive. You do not need to subject your infant or toddler to long sessions of Mozart and other commercialized ‘child development tools’ just for him to be ahead of the pack. Understand your child’s learning pattern and help him learn to according to his capabilities. When it comes to homework for the school going kids, resist the need to push them to do more than is necessary and allow time for rest. Research shows that there is no link between the amount of homework and the academic performance, more so four elementary school kids.
4. Free Up Your Child
Today, families are obsessed with structure especially when it comes to family and extracurricular activities. Packing your child with activities may seem like the right thing to do to bring up responsible little person. However, the truth is that over-scheduling and over-committing can make your kid depressed, lack social and creative skills, and she is likely to enjoy life like other children. Instead of over structuring their life, let your children choose the games they want to play and the activities they want to participate in. Play together, laugh and fool around with your children without planning for it.
5. Don’t Do What They Can Do
There is a difference between helping your child and getting in the way. Children often want to tackle challenges and to accomplish things on their own. Helicopter parents will want to do everything for their children in the name of love. You do not have to do homework for your 6 year old, build the sand castle for your 2-year-old, drive your 18 year old to school every day or write his college application. If it something your child can do, back off and let him do it.