Becoming a parent is one of the most important and rewarding adventures in an adult’s life. Once that helpless and innocent life is first placed in our arms, we have so many hopes and fears for those young lives. Every parent wants their child to excel and become successful and happy people in time. However, in spite of our best intentions, we may tend to actually hold them back from reaching their true potential.
There are several things that a parent may do in the misguided notion of trying to protect our children from failing or falling down. One of the first things we need to learn is that it is okay for our children to fail and experience disappointment and even pain from time to time. Psychologists have claimed that children who are protected from falling and skinning their elbows and knees may develop into adults who are afraid to take risks. It robs them of their self-confidence and realization that failure is not the end of the world but is actually a learning experience.
We also tend to want to leap to the rescue and hustle our kids out of the pool before they have a chance to learn to swim. Not literally, but figuratively. If our children never have to learn how to figure out a problem or find a solution on their own, they will never develop a sense of confidence and assurance that comes from realizing that they are capable to finding their own way through a difficulty.
Another tendency of many parents is to praise too readily and for the smallest reasons. While this may seem like a harmless means to boost a child’s self-esteem, but it can easily backfire and can lead to a child at first expecting to be praised for everything they do – until they notice that no one else is praising them for lackluster performances. Overtime, the child may stop believing that their parents do not have any credibility. This can cause our children to become suspicious and withdrawn while also encouraging them to learn to cheat and engage in dishonest behaviors.
Other ways we can sabotage our children is to hide our own mistakes and poor judgments. If we don’t allow our children to see that we are human and imperfect people, then they may not have a frame of reference when they encounter similar difficulties. When we share how we responded to a difficulty and how we may have made a poor decision, then we lose a teachable moment. If our child knows that we have been there and made it through, they may be able to avoid making the same mistakes that we did.
Parenting is not for the fainthearted. We have to be willing to tackle the hard days with the same attention to detail as we do for the good days. If we follow through on what we say, allow our children to spread their wings and sometimes fall, then we are truly setting them on a successful course for life.
Writer Bio: Angela Mose
I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years. I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia. A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.