What do we all want for our kids? To be safe, secure and happy! Unfortunately, the way we parent these days contributes to our children’s stress, anxiety and dependence. We have turned parenting into a competitive sport where we involve ourselves in our children’s lives like we are the ones trying to be the 6 year-old with the most gold stars, the best fox-trotter at the middle school dance or the captain of the football team. We hold on tight instead of letting go and by doing so we protect our kids from life instead of preparing them for life.
Why? Because we are afraid. Afraid that in this complicated and competitive world our children will flounder and fail if we don’t “drive their bus” for them. I get it! I’ve been there, and to be perfectly honest, along with being part of the solution in my professional life, as a mother who has tried desperately not to be; I have also been part of the problem. I mention that because I want you to know I understand and respect how confusing and challenging it is to raise kids these days.
Having said that, we must start parenting differently because our kids are struggling.
As parents, we need to get back to basics by committing to our values, thinking for ourselves, and not taking
the age-appropriate struggle out of our children’s lives. I call this “Boots on the Ground” parenting.
However, one tried and true adage is never do for your children what they can do for themselves.
And never do for your children what they can almost do for themselves.
You’ll be empowered to let go without losing control in your own way and as a result your children will learn
to know themselves and stand on their own two feet. That is the best gift a parent can give a child.