It is a natural instinct to want to protect our children from harm. But if you have a child that seems different from the pack, you may find that you want to get a shield and sword out at every opportunity. The big problem is that it’s so easy to fall into the trap of protecting our children too much. While it may feel good it doesn’t help our children adapt, it can make our children miss out on certain things in life, such as their sense of accomplishment at mastering new things. But what are the best ways to bring your family together in a more natural sense without you being the overprotective mother? I for one am a helicopter / smother mother, but I’m slowing acknowledging those instances and not being such an over protective parent, here are a couple tips for you.
Acknowledge Your Anxieties
Whether you are worried about your children going in a car by themselves for the first time or they are going away to summer camp, learning to acknowledge your anxieties is far better than trying to downplay them. You may very well feel that it’s too much to handle and stop your children from venturing beyond the front door. But your children will need to do things by themselves. Learning to drive is a very common example. You may very well have your own issues with regard to driving, but driving is a pastime that everybody needs to do in order to get by in the world. If you were fearful every time you or your children got in the car, this wouldn’t be any good. The fact of the matter is that so many people need to drive, and with an estimated 1.4 billion cars in the world, it is far better for you to acknowledge your anxieties than to step away from them. And yes, there are highly skilled car accident lawyers out there, as well as shocking statistics on car accidents, but this is a rite of passage that your children have a right to exercise.
Get Rid of the Guilt
This is not easy. If your children are different, you may very well feel shame or guilt. And these negative feelings can lead parents to do more than they normally would for a young child. This can make the child feel like they need extra protection, but the best thing for you to do is to let go of the guilt. This makes you feel better but it also allows your child to discover the strengths they have arising from certain challenges. You will need to teach your children things rather than doing things for them. Allowing your children to develop their skills means they will be able to face challenges and navigate difficult situations in life. And as children who try new things in life will feel more independent and more capable, this will make you even prouder of them.
We know it’s not easy to just stop being overprotective. But the first step is to realize that you are being overprotective. If you start to do this, you can then slowly relinquish the grip. And this will make everybody happier in the long run.