IS THERE SUCH THING AS OVER-PARENTING?

August 26, 2018

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Surprisingly, yes.  There is such a thing as over-parenting and it’s one (if not the only) reason why children lay down the “Help-me-I-can’t-do-it” card most of the time.  I’ve been very conscious of my actions towards Vania— refusing to do some things for her, encouraging her to do it on her own, and helping her only when I deem it necessary.  But before you ask why we should refuse to help our kids when they ask for it, and before you judge me for being an “uncaring” parent for suggesting to do so, hear me out.


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When Vania was only two, I made it a point to delegate small chores to her, tasks that she can reasonably handle and accomplish all on her own.  Things like drawing the curtains in the morning, putting toys away, throwing small trash in the bin, helping me load clothes into the washer and operating it, arranging her toy shelves and helping me carry small things were just some of her little “responsibilities” at home.  She was mommy’s little help and seeing her smile of satisfaction after completing each task proved that she was really enjoying helping me around the house.

When Vania started school, we made a terrible mistake of micro-managing things for her because, well, we were always in a hurry.  From putting her school stuff away, to putting her socks and shoes on, there was always someone doing it for her.  In the little time that I allowed this to happen, she depended on either me or her yaya to do these simple tasks for her instead of doing it herself.


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“Here, let me do that for you” is one practice we parents must refrain from doing too much.  As researchers pointed out, always doing things for you child when you know they can do it themselves could lead to them embracing learned (no, more like, taught) helplessness, a clinical disorder defined by Britannica as a mental state in which an organism forced to bear aversive stimuli, or stimuli that are painful or otherwise unpleasant, becomes unable or unwilling to avoid subsequent encounters with those stimuli, even if they are “escapable,” presumably because it has learned that it cannot control the situation.  Feigning helplessness to get you to do things for them and you being perpetually at their beck and call is a kind of special service that is both detrimental to you and your child’s overall pysche.  Growing up without confidence, or problem solving skills necessary to do age-appropriate tasks are just some of the negative effects of learned helplessness.

Over-parenting could set your child up for subsequent troubles later on in adult life.  As parents, we aim to raise competent and self-sufficient adults and with that, comes our responsibility to help them cultivate a can-do attitude instead of the i-cant-do-this mentality.  Three simple ways to help them kick helplessness to the curb is by refraining to do things for them, encouraging them to learn to do things by themselves, and by giving them the freedom to explore/learn on their own.


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Learning to identify when we’ve become overprotective parents can be challenging especially when we only want what’s best for our kids.  But learning to let go and letting them explore and be independent is an entirely different matter.  This is where I usually “fail” as I always tend to oversee every little thing Vania does or plan on doing.  Letting go is hard especially when we fear that their little bodies might not have the necessary protection to fend off illnesses or viruses they come across as they go about learning and practising independence outside our homes.  

The time we allow our kids to explore, wander, and play, gives them not only the opportunity to learn but also the freedom to express themselves and exercise independence as well.  I maybe be a little to hesitant at times but what gives me peace of mind is the fact and the assurance that she is protected round the clock because Nido 3+ gives her the necessary vitamins and nutrients to help her boost her immune system.  With Iron, Zinc, Vitamin C, and Lactobacillus Protectus to support her respiratory tract, it’s now easier for me to protect and let go with a #LoveThatProtects. 

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Letting her explore as I know she has the necessary nutrients to protect her round the clock.
Have you seen the newest sequel of the Love That Protects series? Watch it here if you haven't yet: Love That Protects.

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My husband and I decided to change the way we do things around Vania so as to preempt the onset of learned helplessness, and I'm happy to say that we are absolutely thrilled of the progress we’re seeing.  Even though we “baby” her sometimes, being the very responsible child that she is, Vania has taken it upon herself to still do/perform her household chores, has grown to be more independent day by day, and is more empathetic and thoughtful more than ever.  I am one happy momma!



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