Parenting Style: Are You an Over-functioning, Over-protective Parent?

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Ivana Pejakovic, Toronto Life Coach

What’s your parenting style? In my coaching practice, I find the parenting style isn’t always compatible with parental intention when raising children.

By the time parents see me, they’re scratching their heads (with both hands!) and confused as to why their offspring isn’t more independent, self-motivated, responsible, and with a higher level of confidence and self-esteem. Considering how good their child had it all her life, they can’t help but wonder what went wrong.

It appears the more ambitious dreams parents have for their kids, the more over-functioning and over protective they can be…creating the opposite result.

In parents’ eagerness for their kids to “get it” right from the start, without a glitch, they readily jump in and deal with the experiences and problems their kids should be solving on their own. Parents then become more fearful than their children of failure or disappointment. This fear then drives parents to help out again, and again, until a habit is created.

Over-functioning parents begin with the intention of having their kids watch, learn, and then be confident in dealing with similar issues on their own.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. Kids learn best when they are hands on: when they feel the pain, the struggle, the mixed emotions, and the reward.

Watching their parents deal with problems and handle every day tasks, doesn’t give kids confidence. Rather, it gets them to shy away from experiences until one day they expect their parents to deal with the problems.

What do over-functioning and over-protective parents do for their teens and young adults? Here’s a short list:

1. Wake them up to go to school
2. Remind them of due dates
3. Call to schedule appointments for them
4. Provide 100% financial support to those who can have a part-time job
5. Place all their meals on the table ready to be eaten
6. Tell their kids how to handle problems and how to feel about issues
7. Accept their excuses
8. Take responsibility for their mistakes
9. Solve their social dilemmas
10. Make decisions for them when they can’t make up their minds
11. Take care of their chores

You MUST let your kids think for themselves, make some mistakes, and make age appropriate decisions. Distinguish between what they are capable of and what they can’t do.

This is the only way kids build:

1. Self-confidence: I’ve done stuff like this before and I know I am capable!
2. Self-trust: I’ve made decisions in the past that worked for me and when I made mistakes I knew how to correct them.
3. Self-reliance: I don’t need to wait for others I can do it on my own. I trust myself and I know I am competent.

Best Wishes to Your Family!

Choose your path

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Categories: parenting