Doing too much for your child can cause harm

Doing too much for your child.

A friend was telling me how she has secured a place for her child working in an old peoples home for their Duke of Edinburgh award. In a way in which I should be impressed that her child is doing such a charitable grown up thing. However my oddball thought is why isn’t the child organising this? It’s helicopter parenting for a 17 year old.

I question how much of her children’s life she will be organising, when will they stand on their own two feet? They are from a privileged back ground, is it any wonder that rich kids are generally so helpless in a real situation when their lives have been carefully manicured by doting parents? How many of our privileged politicians have this upbringing?

At what point do you tell your kid, if you want it, you make it happen.

Does it depend on their maturity or does it stunt their maturity if you do it for them? Can you teach get up and go?
I think there is something to be said for genuine need – forcing us to learn and take leaps that we may not have tried otherwise. That we are in a generation where we generally mollycoddle our young more than any generation before, the little princes and princesses emerging with the lack of the ability to organise, repair things and even do things to make their own lives more comfortable and sustainable. I know plenty of people who struggle financially yet their offspring want for nothing too so it’s not something just the rich are guilty of.

There are exceptions of course but good parenting doesn’t mean setting up everything for your child like ducks in a row, a person who has no achievable challenges in life is bound to get depressed, and if we really care about our kids, their mental health should be a prime concern.

Parents who micro manage a child’s life, organising an outward success of Duke of Edinburgh gold medals and high level exam results and musical grades have a high risk that when the young adult is sent off to uni (of course they go to uni after all that micro managed success) they have a complete mental collapse as the child has never had to go get a thing in life before and I don’t just mean how to use a washing machine. Or the adult develops personality traits that enable them to continue the prince/princess lifestyle – see my posts on narcissism.

Divorce can also force a child to mature too soon as parents collapse into self obsessed heap of hurt and bitterness, ending childhoods prematurely but that’s another subject. My point today was doing too much for kids can cause harm – step back and let them do something for themselves and they will get a true sense of achievement.


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