Nobody wants to see their kids suffer. Nobody wants to see their kids struggle. And for some of you super moms out there – you don’t.
You put on your cape and shield your kids from every scrape, tumble and fall. You save the day when it comes to forgotten instruments and overlooked assignments. You provide concierge service in your home – because your kids deserves it.
But, is that really what’s best for them?
Take the quiz below. Which column do you fall in?
We are all going to land in the green some of the time – but if you are landing in the green most of the time, put the cape away mama and read on…
WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO BE A SUPER MOM?
Super moms aren’t trying to hurt their children. In fact, it is just the opposite. These moms want to go above and beyond to make sure their children have an optimal childhood. And that might be at the crux of the problem.
Not all, but a large proportion of super moms have had less than ideal experiences with their own parents. Our childhood shapes our parenting. Some of us vow to do better than our parents.
Alternatively, some of us had very sheltered upbringings and our parents did everything for us. Setting the stage for us to do everything for our kids too.
Super mom parenting can also be spawned out of guilt. Parenting and guilt seem to go hand in hand. When moms feel too much guilt- they often try to overcompensate. They might feel guilt over a family situation. Worried about how their husband treats their kids. Concerned with a struggle their child is experiencing.
Whatever it is – saving our kids from the bumps and scrapes of life doesn’t help them in the long run. In fact, it can really hold them back.
HOW CAN IT HURT OUR KIDS?
When we rescue our kids from hard work they don’t learn that effort pays off.
When we make excuses for our children’s lack of effort – they never learn to take responsibility.
When we jump in and take care of peer conflict – they never learn how to solve their own problems.
When we do tasks our children can do for themselves – they never learn life skills.
When we cover up our children’s lies and mistakes, they learn that deception is acceptable.
When we cave and clean our children’s room – they learn that if they don’t do it, we will.
When we control the style of clothes our children wear – they never learn self-expression. (That doesn’t mean we let them leave the house with their butt cheeks hanging out!)
When we try and make everything in our house completely equal – it doesn’t prepare our children for a world that isn’t always going to be equal or fair.
If you think this won’t effect your child long term – click here to read this woman’s story about how being raised without any expectations hurt her as an adult.
HOW WE CAN HELP OUR KIDS!
If you have been running around with a safety net under your child – no worries. That just means you are a loving, caring parent. It is never to late to adapt your parenting approach and teach your children some independence. Here is some perspective on how to help your kids:
Help your child with their homework, but stop doing every problem with them. Sit near by and let them know that if they are having trouble you are there to help. If you see your child struggling often, contact the teacher.
When your child is having social issues, brainstorm what they should do. Do they even want your help? Be a sounding board. Let them process their own thoughts and come to their own conclusions. They have to make their own social mistakes in order to learn.
Constantly reassess what your child is capable of doing for themselves. Sometimes this is easy to forget. Can they make their own breakfast? Their own lunches? It isn’t about being a mean or lazy parent – it is about fostering independence and giving your child life skills. Here is a handy chart showing at what age to give kids certain chores.
No one likes to see their children get in trouble. But, If your child lies to their teacher or your husband – you are sending a dangerous message when you cover up for them. Explore what they should have said instead – but never conspire with your child.
When your child has large school projects it can seem very overwhelming. You might feel they will never be able to do it. Or conversely you are excited about the project and have big plans. Put your glue gun down. This is your child’s project – not yours. Be there to support them, but let them do it.
If there is a funky smell coming from your child’s room – resist any and all temptation to clean it up. Give them a deadline for when it needs to be clean and let them know of the consequence if it is not done.
When your twelve year old comes down wearing those horrific striped leggings with that jean skirt again – try to conceal your grimace. If all her body parts are well covered, give your child some wiggle room to express herself.
It is a major struggle to let go of the reigns and give our children self control. Especially for those who like control in their life (guilty as charged)!
But when we let our kids ride on autopilot as we do all the work, we are cheating them out of their training. Training they’ll need to navigate through life. Training that every child has a right to experience – even if they won’t appreciate it until later!
If you liked this article, don’t keep it to yourself! Share with others.