When your children face challenging responsibilities, how do you react? Do you seek to shield your children from the things they fear, to protect them from disappointment and failure? Your first instinct may be to “rescue” your child or to take the burden upon yourself.
But consider: Every time you rush in and “save” your children in some manner, what kind of message are you sending? Are you indicating that you have confidence in them and believe in their abilities? Or are you telling them that you still think of them as helpless infants who must rely upon you for everything?
TRY THIS: Write down a current challenge your child faces. Next to the challenge, write down what you could do to help your child meet the challenge without “rescuing” him or her. Rehearse with your child the steps necessary to overcome the challenge. Express your confidence in the child’s ability.
If you forever shield your children from difficulty, you may, in fact, stunt their ability to take on life’s challenges. Instead, strengthen your children by raising them to accept responsibility. Doing so will be one of the most valuable gifts you can give them.
ASK YOURSELF . . .
Do I have realistic expectations of my children?
Do I both tell them and show them what they need to do to succeed?
When was the last time that I encouraged or commended my child?