I just finished reading a very enlightening article that Dr. Neill Neill wrote entitled Help Your Kids Grow, and Then Let Them Go. What I got out of this is the importance of letting your children make their own mistakes and don't fall into the trap of trying to protect them and gain control as they get older. They will natually rebel. Ideally as our children grow we should grow with them our relationships needs to become more supportive and encouraging. This can be very hard. As a parent of two beautiful young children I have the natual urge to want to protect them. I see my son who is four years old growing up before my eyes. When I try to help him, many times he retorts, "I can do it myself". Wow I just say to myself. I really need to learn to back off a bit and be more encouraging and more intune with his emotional growth.
As I reflect on the article and my own family, it is apparent the need to build a trusting relationship early own, and to teach children responsibility and accountability for their actions. If someone is overprotective and hinders their child's growth, it is going to become very difficult later in life for that child to succeed. If a parent does not recognize that their parenting approach needs to change as their child changes there will be a lot of resentment and hostility in the child's teenage years when they natually become more independant.
The best thing a parent can do is install good values in their children early in life, and the best way to teach them is through living by example. Children tend to emulate and immitate the actions of their parents, I can already see this in my young son. The best advice I can give myself in this night of reflection is not only to talk the talk but walk the walk and set an example that my sons will carry through with them into their adult life.
Kevin C. Heath
"Finally! You Can Stop Lecturing, Scolding, Pushing And Prodding And Start Getting The Results You Want . . . Once You Learn This Long Forgotten Secret!" Find out more in Martha Stevens, mother of five, book