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Less Is More: The Perils of Over-Parenting

over parenting

In our culture, there is a strong assumption that when our children are struggling it means they need more: more attention, more time, more focus, more love.

Related article: Our 8 Best Parenting Tips for 2015

Stop Over-Giving, Over-Praising, and Over-Sharing

Maybe for some kids and for some parents, this is true some of the time—but most of the time it is not. Often, giving more of those things is a sure way to impair our children. Even though we react this way out of love, we can be causing the very opposite result of what we intend.

From day 1, we’ve been conditioned to over-function for our kids. By overdoing, over-giving, and over-praising, we are contributing to their ultimate dependence on these things. As a result, now Jessie believes she can’t manage her schoolwork without lots of help from her parents. Johnny doesn’t know how to regulate himself without getting others’ time, focus and attention. We have unwittingly encouraged dependence rather than self-reliance. Kids get addicted. And sometimes we parents get our own validation by feeling useful and necessary through over-doing for our children. But in the end, they learn helplessness rather than resilience.

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