Over-Parenting: Am I doing too much for my child?

Over-Parenting: Are You Doing Too Much for Your Child?

This is a somewhat uncomfortable subject, but there seems to be a concern these days over parents who “do too much.”

The problem of “learned helplessness” has reared its head lately, as children struggle to be independent after having everything done for them.

Are you over-parenting? Are you doing too much for your child? How can you tell?

First of all, be easy on yourself. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty or condemned. Just take a look at your parenting and check out these tips, and make adjustments where you see fit.

1. “It’s Just Easier to Do It Myself”

Yes, in the short term, it is. Who has the time to listen to their seven-year-old gripe about tying his or her shoes – and act like he “can’t” by doing it wrong on purpose – when you need to get out the door or be late? In some cases, it’s better to be late…or anticipate this delay and allow time for it. Likely, it will only happen a few times before your child gets the hint that s/he better just tie their shoes.

Please note, though, that this will only work if your child knows how to do the task you’re expecting, whether it’s tying shoes or getting dressed or making the bed. If your child really doesn’t know how to do something, take the time to teach him/her first so that you both don’t end up frustrated. That brings us to the next point…

2. Give Your Kids Tools

Parents can err in two extremes – on the one hand, we do too much and don’t let them do anything on their own; but on the other hand, we can’t expect our kids to do things they don’t know how to do. The middle ground is giving kids the tools they need and then getting out of the way.

“Tools” come in the form of life skills, from preparing food to school projects to job interviews. If you step aside too soon, your child may not have the tools s/he needs to go forward with the task at hand and may give up. If you step in too often or too soon, your child may presume s/he can’t do it (or not care to bother since you’re doing it) and also give up. So a good idea is to teach your kids the skills involved and then step aside once you know that they know.

Sometimes, that means giving how-to details that can seem ridiculous to an adult but are necessary for a child.

3. Are You Fostering Internal Motivation?

Ultimately, motivation must come from within for true independence, say experts. Broad requests like “do your homework” or “clean your room” can seem overwhelming (think “clean your house” if you’re an adult! It’s a huge task when you phrase it that way).

Coaching and encouragement are fine, experts note; that’s not the same as doing the task for your child. Try making a checklist so s/he can see the steps involved in the chore or task at hand. Instead of “do your homework,” for example, you could make a list like this:

* Find comfy place to set up books
* Get a drink and a snack
* Write out spelling words and study list
* Do math worksheet
* Read chapter of book and write paragraph summary

You can break it down further, too, into sub-steps – whatever works for your child. Also, a list (preferably one your child helps write out) keeps you from having to tell him/her what to do over and over.

How do you teach your children things to do for themselves, that you normally did for them, around the house?

Let me know in the comments.

I hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving.

I am so thankful that you took the time to read my post and I hope it helps you in some way.

 

 

Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.

The imperfect parent: What should I be doing?

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The Imperfect Parent

Being an imperfect parent is scary. Most of us struggle with parenting every day. Yes! It’s true, the parents who love and care if their child will be happy and healthy as they grow up, struggle with the decisions they make every day. You are not alone!

I am an imperfect parent. And I’m okay with that. Usually.

I struggle every day with the simplest things. Am I feeding Allie the right foods? Do I interact with her enough? To much? Am I letting her watch too much T.V? What could I be doing better?

Am I a good parent?

So, in order to understand what a “good parent” is, we need to look at what a “bad parent” looks like.

We all know that a bad parent is usually:

  • intolerant
  • constantly critical
  • more interested in their own affairs, and
  • seems like they would rather be doing anything else

(this does not include the extreme cases of abusive parents. If you know of any children in abusive situations please let the authorities know)

Now, I have a question for you.

Are you satisfied with being a “good enough parent”?

I believe that you definitely want more for your child than just average. We all want our children to have “more than we ever had”.

But, you need to think about what will make you happy as well. Coming up with that balance of happy mom happy kids is difficult.

Here are a few tips to get you started on the right track as an imperfect parent. Take them as a jumping off point to come up with your own plan for a happy life for your family.

  1. You are human: Be humble. Recognize that you have a lot to learn. We all do. Be willing to learn from your mistakes. You cannot do everything, be everywhere, or know everything. You have your own issues and that is okay. The key is not to be perfect but to have the right attitude.Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Celebrate your successes.
  2. You are playing a percentage game: We know these stories all too well. The children from the most abusive, deprived backgrounds somehow manage to be huge successes. While the children from the very best families somehow go off the rails into drugs and crime. In reality you, the parent, are only one factor in your child’s upbringing. You cannot (as much as you try) control all the variables. Nothing in life is guaranteed.Your success as a parent is NOT determined by how well your children turn out. It is, however, determined by whether you did all you reasonably could to do the right things and make the right decisions for them, with the knowledge you had at the time.
  3. Your children are not the only things in your life: We seem to be obsessed with the idea that the interests of the children come first, before anything else. By putting them first in everything we run the risk of creating a selfish “me first” generation. (Which we see all too often). They could grow up believing that the world owes them a living.Sometimes, children have to take second place, and that is an important life lesson.Make up your own mind as to what would be best for the family as a whole.
  4. Long term view: Raising children is a long process. How do you want them to be as adults? What qualities and skills do they need to learn?What experiences do they need along the way to learn those skills and character traits?
  5. Look for positives: They will make mistakes. Forgive them. Correct them gently and move on. Children crave their parent’s attention. If you pay attention to what they do wrong, they will do more of that.Pay attention to what they do right and they will be eager to please you more.
  6. Stick to your guns:Believe in yourself. There will be times when you make decisions and you are challenged on them, either by your children or others. Do Not be swayed!And don’t be afraid to say NO…. to your children and your relatives.

Are you an imperfect parent?

imperfect parent

Your children are watching you.

Watching how you deal with life, How you make decisions, how you cope with adversity, how you believe in yourself, and stand up for yourself and your family. The easiest way to learn is observing.

Be a good example for them.

I hope this post helped you to feel a little bit better about your parenting style and get some motivation for the future.

If you enjoyed it please share and let me know which tip you liked the most. If you have anything to add that has helped you please comment below, we can all learn from each other.

Have a wonderful week!

 

 

Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.

Parenting Differences: Then and Now

Parenting Differences:

Then and Now

Considering I am only 33 I don’t have very much knowledge of the parenting differences in the past 50 years. I was wondering what the big differences were from then to now. I decided to take a survey and do a little research to see how different the styles of parenting really are now.

Why do we have a fixation with parenting?

One possible explanation comes from the issues parents face in raising children in today’s society.

The media regularly report national statistics such as:

  • every 1 second a public high school student is suspended
  • every 9 seconds a child drops out of school
  • every 4 minutes a child is arrested for drugs
  • every 3 hours a child is a homicide victim

Parents are also frequently reminded by the media that child-rearing issues faced in the 1950s—such as children chewing gum in class, talking out of turn, and not cleaning their rooms—have been replaced with more serious issues such as drug addiction, suicide, violence, and teen pregnancy.

These messages can scare parents into the perception that parenting styles and methods today are more important than in past generations. Concerns about the importance of parenting in today’s society are strongly reinforced through our exposure to prevention efforts in the areas of drug abuse, violence, and teen pregnancy.

While parents should play a critical role in prevention efforts, these ideas indirectly suggest parents are the cause of many of the problems facing youth today.

The “parents are to blame” belief is further reinforced in the way the media portrays modern parenting styles.

Television has moved from Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver to more controversial programs such as South Park, The Simpsons, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. It is no wonder that many in our society perceive parents as unable to “control” youth.

 

What do you Think?

I asked on my various social media platforms what other moms thought about this subject, And reflected on their answers.

Here are some of their answers:

Facebook

The Coffee Mom commented:

“…one of the biggest changes is that, we as parents are more involved with our children. Especially fathers now are more loving and involved, many are even SAHD (stay at home dads)

My thoughts on this specific comment:

I do agree to a point. I also think that the reasoning behind those SAHD is more the effect of those men not being able to find a job, and not having another choice but to let their wives/SO become the sole bread winner. Which, some people might think is a good thing, I believe that its easier for women to be the stay at home partner (not because I think women “should” be the domestic) but, because we are the nurturer and its ingrained in us to be the homemaker.

Rebekah Martin from My Circus My Monkeys commented:

“…the amount of freedom and independence we give (or don’t give) to our children…. I remember riding my bike around for hours and just had to be home for dinner.

My thoughts on this: Yes, I completely agree with this comment. Even just about 15 years ago I remember being able to go outside for hours at a time. I would have to be in the house by the time the street lights came on at night. Nowadays, there are almost no children out riding bikes or hanging with friends.

Marielle Petkoff from The Resplendent commented:

“I think technology is the biggest difference. It affects so many aspects of parenting and the way children are raised. … With everything on the news and Facebook, we are much more of a fear-driven society.”

My thoughts: I also agree with Marielle. This day and age we are bombarded with news stories of missing and abducted children. It is so easy to be afraid and just keep our little ones close to us. They need to be able to be children and explore and learn the world.

Amaris Bannon Beecher from Crumbs and Glamour commented:

“More couples probably stayed together. I wish the divorce rate was lower. Children need both parents at home.”

My thoughts: While I agree very much with this comment. Having both parents together would be ideal, it is just not possible. Staying together for the kids is probably what most couples did back then. But, when two people are no longer happy together the tensions can be very high. Arguing in front of children was a big problem back then. While it is very sad divorce is a necessary part of life.

Instagram

@stephanielovelacehome says:

“chores are far less extensive and physically demanding, boredom is more prevalent”

My thoughts: Absolutely! I remember not being able to go out on any night, let alone a school night, if my homework/chores were not done. Also, on a side note, if I claimed to be sick and didn’t go to school, my butt was NOT going outside at all that day.

@simplymaderecipes says:

“I wish parents would be more strict nowadays like my parents and grandparents were”

My thoughts: YES! Parents these days want to be their childs “friends”. And hang out with them. Go get mani/pedi’s while sipping on vente Starbucks half caff latte’s or whatever. I am not my child’s friend, I am her parent and I will treat her as such until the day I die. I will always know better no matter how old she gets. 🙂

@jahoag15 says:

“I like that we don’t force kids to finish their plates… we need to teach them to listen to their bodies when they are full.

My thoughts: Yes, I always tell Allie that she needs to eat a little bit of everything. Then I ask her twice if she is sure she is done. In my opinion forcing children to eat forms a negative relationship with food and can lead to a problem in the future.

@21flavorsofsplendor says:

“kids being able to play outside all day and you didn’t have to worry”

My thoughts: Agree (refer back to Rebekah Martin’s comment from FB)

@lifeofaministermom says:

“I think there are a lot of people with the perception that discipline is somehow cruel and there are so many children that are entitled because rules aren’t enforced”

My thoughts: Yes, completely! This says it all.

@lifeofaministermom says:

“I think there has been a definite decline in the respect department”

My thought: Yes, the lack of discipline and structure these days has led to children disrespecting any type of authority figure, especially their own parents”

@undeniably_tk says:

“I wish that parents spent more time with their kids and not so much time allowing electronics babysit them.

My thoughts: I absolutely agree. It is very sad the way technology has taken over for parenting these days.

 

 

Twitter

@dawnjdmb says:

“Kids are exposed to too many things way to early”

My thoughts: I agree. This day and age there are way to many “adult” type things that we are giving to our young children.

I did some research on the effects of societal changes in the past 50 years and here is what I learned.

 

There is a trend for families to live very disconnected lives in our society. The factors that lead to this trend, include:

  1. young families moving away from extended family members;
  2. the increased rate of single parents; and
  3. free time limitations due to the work schedules of dual-income or single-parent families.

We as parents spend more time working to provide for our children’s basic needs and less time providing for their emotional needs. Because of this, we are participating less in social and community activities and interacting less with family members and friends. Which means we are receiving less emotional and mental support in raising our children.

It is important to remember that, in addition to parenting, children are impacted by various influences occurring at the individual, family, community, and social level. Parenting is not solely at the family level but within a larger network of interdependent sections. Parenting and families do not develop independently, and they typically reflect the problems of the larger society.

Whether at the individual or social level, stress can negatively impact parenting. Parenting styles are also influenced by the popular advice of the times. There have been several parenting experts who have influenced large numbers of parents. Social factors such as politics, religion, and media often influence the advice provided by experts. Thus, the advice offered by experts is often conflicting, and parents are left confused by the different advice they are offered.

We all deal with stress on a day to day basis. When we think of the effect of stress on people in general, we think of problems like headaches, hypertension, heart attacks, increased smoking/drinking, strokes, and various other medically related problems. But, stress can also have a large effect on parenting.

Actually, stress may be a major contributing factor to many of the parenting changes occurring in our society. Because of this, it is clear parenting in today’s society is occurring in an increasingly stressful atmosphere.

Parenting stress inducing points include:

  • high workloads

  • low social support

  • negative life events

  • daily hassles

  • and difficult child temperament

Parenting stress coincides with:

  1. inconsistent parenting (lax or overcompensating)
  2. more negative communication
  3. decreased monitoring/supervision of children
  4. setting unclear rules and limits on children’s behavior
  5. being more reactive and less proactive and
  6. increasingly harsh discipline

As the stress increases, the parent-child relationship suffers, and we are less involved with our children. Parent-child relationships often become more problematic when parents are stressed by minor “daily-hassle” events.

 

My final thought:

It is easy to be critical of other parents and their efforts; but, there is much more involved than simply they must not care or are obviously doing the “wrong thing.” This parenting thing is difficult under the best of circumstances. For more and more parents these days, the stresses in our society are making it very difficult to parent effectively. It is important to remember that parenting occurs within the context of a society, not in isolation, and parenting problems often reflect society’s problems. And, we all know how that is currently working out.

So, the next time you see a mom in the grocery store in pajamas or in line at Starbuck’s with a child on her hip, remember we are all in this together. Don’t judge her because you don’t know her story.

We all need to start loving each other instead of spreading so much hate.

It doesn’t matter what decade we are in or what country we come from or what religion we worship or the color of our skin, we love our children with every fiber of our being.

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who was becoming a first time mom this year, what would it be and Why do you think that advice is important?

Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.