Parent Coaching Tip: Do You Do Too Much For Your Kid?

May 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm 2 comments

No Doubt About Their Skills

No Doubt About Their Skills

Oh come on, you know what I’m talking about…clearing dishes, tidying up, carrying bags for them, all the little niceties that you just do naturally as a way to say I love you.  There is a downside to treating a child this way that you need to know about.  They learn that the world is a magic place where things are taken care of for them with no concerete idea how clean laundry ACTUALLY gets back into the drawer.  But wait there’s more…and it’s worse!

When you manage your kids lives, run the routine, skipper the schedule, you send a message to your child = You Can’t Handle This.  Not only are you training them to be lazy, entitled, dependent and unskilled (gasp!)  They honestly begin to feel that there must be a good reason they manage nothing, they conclude they must not be capable.

The Fix?  Step back, fight the urge to do for them and invite them to handle things.  If that makes you cringe…that’s your first clue this is necessary.  Look for this behavior: they tell you what’s wrong (they are hungry or tired or bored) and wait expectantly for you to solve that for them.  Now, you will reply:  Thanks for letting me know.  Anything else?  (Don’t forget to smile!)  Until they make a real Request, Do Not Act. 

Let kids struggle, fall short, fail, be confused, get uncomfortable, feel frustrated and wonder how it will all turn out.  You can offer sage guidance but do it from the side, letting them know it is ultimately up to them to manage.  Use the word Manage; as in, “You can manage that, I know it.”  This gives them real world practice in problem solving and the golden ring of self esteem building:  actual accomplishment!

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Parent Coaching Tip: The Moment of Choice Parents In The News: Kid On Subway

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ginger  |  May 29, 2009 at 2:15 am

    How do you always know what I need to hear? I really struggle with this on a daily basis. I apprecite yóur wisdom and extremely relevant message. I need help with how to know when to act but if I hear it correctly unless they make a request, say”that’s nice”. I am looking forward to reading you book real soon for more of this wisdom.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  • 2. Lona  |  May 29, 2009 at 4:44 am

    At our house, this happens, although inconsistently. Thanks for the reminder that we shouldn’t handle it all, and for the word to use – ‘manage’.

    Reply

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