Parenting Vivian | 05 Mar 2010 07:16 am

Enabling – When Being Protective is Harmful

Childhood and adolescence is a time of continual learning and development. Parents are filled with pride at each milestone, from the first smile to walking across the stage receiving the high school diploma. Much laughter, tears and joy have brought the child to adulthood. Part of a parent’s job during these years is to protect their children from being hurt.

You teach them when to cross the street, not to talk to strangers, when to study and what to eat. This is a natural part of parenthood. There comes a time when you have to release your children and let them strengthen their wings and do things on their own. When you don’t do this, your good intention of protecting your child is harmful.
?br>Too much protection is often seen when parents rescue their children from the discomfort, and sometimes severe consequences, of their behavior. A common example is when your child doesn’t begin the homework assignment in a timely fashion. To prevent a bad grade, you step in. After all, you don’t want a bad grade to jeopardize their future. Instead of history or science, the child has learned s/he doesn’t need to do what is required because someone else will bail her out. The result, the individual has little or no concept of the inner resources needed to live life. The supposed protective action can cause deep harm, and lead to more severe consequences in adulthood.

There are times the rescuing is beyond homework. This could involve lying, cheating, hurting someone. When the parent does everything possible to prevent their child from suffering consequences of their actions, the lesson of irresponsibility is reinforced. The result is the child, soon to be an adult, does not learn the lessons of maturity and life will be more difficult than it need be.
?br>As a parent, you need to stand your ground and set clear boundaries about what is expected from your child. This teaches lessons far beyond math and social studies. This teaches them how to manage life.

Cathy Chapman, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker assisting people achieve their dreams of health, wealth and abundance through Mind-Body Psychology. She works from a spiritual and energetic model employing BodyTalk and Psych-K to balance the body and change beliefs. Go to => <= and click on Special Reports to download a special report on the mind-body connection and the immune system.

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