We want our children to have every opportunity and every chance of success possible. We have become so overprotective and giving that, without realizing it, we have taken away our kids’ power. Did you know that the increase in depression and suicide is caused by this trend of giving our kids too much? The articles and studies are shocking!
I discovered it by accident because of an issue I am going through with my 10 year old. During a discussion I had with another adult about this issue, the following question surfaced; “Is it possible to give a child too much attention?”
I was honestly shocked by the amount of articles that came up in my search. This is a common problem. Most startling is the fact that it creates attention-addiction, which then turns into behavior that resembles that of a child that does NOT get enough attention. What?!
I absolutely needed to share this with you because I know I am not alone in this experience. We drive ourselves crazy trying to make them happy, but it is actually backfiring because we are giving too much.
How can that be?
To put it simply, children need boundaries and structure. When parents cater to a child’s every demand, the child will only want more and never learn to respect the needs of others around them. This then turns into social dysfunction. Bullying has become such a big problem in schools, buses, day camps, summer camps, and every where we find groups of kids. For a long time, I wondered why bullying kept increasing.
After reading the articles and studies, it is clear that all these children are craving attention. Most of them are used to being the center of attention. When these kids find themselves in a large group where no one can give them the individual attention, they do whatever they can to get attention. Kids don’t care whether it is positive or negative attention. They only care that it is attention. Attention-addicts feel unloved and not cared for the moment no one is paying attention to them.
Finding the right balance.
We all want our kids to be happy. The key to this happiness is finding the right balance. There is no magical formula. Everyone’s needs are different. Every family is different. But I believe that remembering that, we as parents are individuals with needs as well and that taking care of our own needs is important in order to be a good parent. We achieve balance by taking care of ourselves first and foremost. There is nothing selfish about doing so. It is what I like to call “The Lifeguard Rule.” Lifeguards are taught to ensure their own safety before jumping into the water to save someone in distress.
Children need to learn to respect their parents needs and they also need to learn to play on their own, resolve their own issues. Hardships are a necessary part of life and our growth. By sheltering our children from the hardships while they are young. They do not learn the skills necessary to navigate through the hardships they will face once they become adults.
Every parent wants to give their child everything they never had and more. We want our children to be happy. We want to give them the world. The best way to do so is by giving them their power back. How? Well, it begins with teaching them boundaries, respect, and responsibility for their own actions.
After reading many articles on this subject, I sent my son’s teachers an email explaining my new strategy. I am very fortunate his teachers are wonderfully dedicated professionals. They both thanked me for sharing my findings and assured they would support the new strategy. I was pleasantly surprised to see positive results within a few days. My new strategy has already improved my relationship with my son and I hope it will help him with his relationships with his peers as well.
Please, feel free to leave your comments below. I would love to hear about your experiences. Questions or other subjects you would like me to cover in this blog are also welcome.
Love and Happiness are contagious… let them spread around the globe.
Other Articles on this Subject:
Living with Children: Too much attention is a bad thing, John Rosemond, Published 1:57 p.m. PT Dec. 15, 2015
Parents Who Love Too Much, Discover why catering to your child's every whim may teach all the wrong lessons., by Nancy Wartik
My Child Demands Too Much Attention!, Educational Pathways - Issue #8, by Nochum Kaplan
Study Finds How Students With Helicopter Parents Perform In College, Results Are Impressive, by Chris Sutton