People say that parents experience love at first sight all over again the first time they meet every child they produce. Some folks are afraid that they will not be able to give as much love to the second- or third-born as they have given to the firstborn, but that’s not true. It is only as if the more kids you have, the more your heart becomes fuller. This is the reason why a lot of moms and dads want to become hands-on parents.
Over the years, though, I have realized that there are a couple of downsides to being there for your children too much.
They Become Extremely Dependent On You
We have a family friend who doted so much on her only daughter. When she was having a hard time with maths at school, they got her a private tutor. Since the girl said she gets tired after walking for five minutes to school, her parents would drive her there. At home, they would not assign chores to her — not even fixing her bed in the morning — because they wanted her to keep on studying. This routine went on until the daughter had to go to another state to attend a university there. That’s when my friend saw the fault in their parenting style.
Of course, whether you stay in the dormitory or have an apartment of your own, you have to clean after yourself. The girl, however, did not know how to do the laundry, fold her clothes, cook simple dishes, or even use a vacuum cleaner. Her place became too messy, and she begged for her parents to come to help her tidy things up. Since it was their doing, though, the mom and dad had no choice but to do that.
You Can’t Take A Break Even When The Kids Are Older
Overly loved kids are not used to making decisions for themselves. They grew up with the idea that mommy or daddy would know what’s best for them. They perhaps allowed their parents to decide for everything, from what sports to play to what field of study to focus on. When the time comes that they want to stand on their own, because of that, things can get whacky. “Most importantly your children want to be seen and heard, so even though it may be difficult to hear them out without interrupting or finding counter arguments, it is the first step in the right direction,” says Dr. Viola Drancoli, PsyD, a clinical psychologist.
The same girl in the example above insisted that she could make decisions for herself after graduating from the university. She worked at a hotel for a year, and then she told her parents that her job’s too complicated and that she wants to find a new one. Hearing that their child is having a hard time, the mom and dad agreed to foot her bills at the apartment while she is looking for another job. One year after being at the new workplace, she said that her dream was to become a flight attendant. Despite being in the workforce for a couple of years, though, she did not think of saving money, she practically obliged her parents to support her financially again. If this job doesn’t stick still, there’s no doubt that the girl would pull the same trick, and her parents will never be able to take a break.
I know it is not easy to see your kids failing or getting hurt. Dea Dean, LMFT, states that while it may be difficult to acknowledge your child’s negative perception of you, especially when you never intended to cause harm, “listening without defending shows respect for the reality of your child’s experience and leads to resolution.” However, loving them too much increases your chances of raising spoiled brats. As you have already seen in the movies and TV shows, no one appreciates overprivileged individuals. You don’t want your children to end up being hated by their colleagues in the future, do you? Hence, you need to show a bit of tough love and let your children do things for themselves before it’s too late. According to Judith Belmont, a psychotherapist, “Parents need to be reminded that they did the best with the mental health and abilities they had at the time. Some parents remain a prisoner of their past and take too much responsibility for their kids’ problems.”