There are so many parents who want to protect their children, but at what cost?
So many parents say they want to protect their children from pain, but this is something we can’t possibly do 100% of the time! Let’s think about it…is this something that is healthy for your child, to be protected from the “pain” in life? Does everything have to be fair? Does everyone have to show kindness? Don’t we need to protect our children only when it is appropriate to do so and not to protect them when it is not appropriate?
In my previous blog, A Mother’s Guilt, I wrote:
The only thing you should not do is let your guilt get the better of you to the point of now overlooking things or behavior your child or children are doing. For example, by being lenient on rules, homework, chores, behavior, curfews, etc. Don’t let your child or children get away with things because you feel guilty. Don’t let them get away with inappropriate behavior. You still have to correct their behavior, limit them from “needing” certain things, and teaching them from right or wrong. You still have to do everything you would be doing if you were a stay-at-home mom.
Now let’s think about this…if you are protecting your child from “pain” then at what cost are you doing so? They need the pain of consequences if they are doing something wrong or positive consequences if they are doing something right. They need the pain of unfairness, if they do not achieve a goal on their own or work hard to win something, then they will think it’s unfair; they need the pain of unkindness, if friends are treating them without respect then they need to figure out how to handle that on their own; they need the pain of doing work such as homework, chores, school, attending family events, being kind to siblings and other family members. They can’t say they don’t want to do something and then that is accepted by you and say it is okay. It is not! Even if you feel guilty or it will make them get upset, they need to know what is expected of them at an early age. Each child needs consistency and rules that will help structure their life and help them to become decent human beings.
Some of these things are painful. I say they are painful because not all kids want to do certain things, but they have to learn to do certain things that require unselfishness, unfairness, hard work, less play or less fun. How else will they grow up to be well rounded, not spoiled, a hard worker, a responsible human being? We can’t protect them from growing up. They need all the things that make them into the person they will become. We can enhance who they are as human beings but not by “protecting” them from things they should not be protected from. They need to learn from their mistakes, and they will make mistakes. They need to deal with consequences, positive or negative, they will learn from themselves with whatever they decide.
We as parents can’t feel guilty from that and we need to make sure the guilt doesn’t get the better of us. We can’t harm our child (not physically, but mentally and emotionally) to the point of stopping them from learning, growing and maturing into the adult they need to be.
Do not let your guilt control how you raise your child. Stop the guilt. Just raise your child, no matter what!
Something to think about…comments or suggestions?