Parenting has always been a hard task and has become even more challenging in these modern days. To add to this, lifestyle that keeps changing rapidly, never ending demands, new requirements in life bring in added challenges.
During the olden times, life as we know was very different. Fathers were required to work and mothers took care of children and domestic duties. Families were large and children had the support of grandparents, aunts and uncles. But, nowadays, it is not uncommon to find both the mother and father going to work to achieve financial stability in the family and nuclear families are the norm. This means that children are now being left in day care centres and parents have limited time to spend with their children.
Parents struggle a lot to achieve a balance between work and parenting duties. They are required to look after many other things other than parenting which is turn puts a lot of stress on the parents.
As both the parents are required to work they spend less time with their children and are too tired to listen to their children after going through a heavy schedule throughout their day. Hence children end up being feelings neglected and not cared for.
Parents feel guilty for not catering to the most important needs of their children which is spending time with them. So they tend to give in to their children. Children too take advantage of their parents’ tight schedule and end up demanding a lot from them.
Here are some of the reasons that parents tend to give in easily for:
- Parents do not want their children to experience risk or tough situations – as parents, you want to protect your child from any kind of discomfort of hurt. So they tend to rush in to help them and rescue them from their discomfort.
- Parents are in awe of their kids – sometimes parents let their kids get away with bad behaviour thinking that this he/she is ‘only a child’ and that they will get over this behaviour.
- Parents tend to let the feeling of guild overwhelm them – when parents ‘feel’ that they are not able to give sufficient time to their kids, they try to compensate for it by either giving into their children’s demands easily or by not discipline them when required.
- Parents do not share their past mistakes with their children –
- Parents tend to mistake intelligence and behaviour for maturity; and
- Parents do not practice what they preach.
So parents say “yes” to their children’s demands too early and too soon. This causes them to pull in boundaries too. Children’s character development is also undermined by not setting proper boundaries or limits.
But we must remember that it is not what we do for our children, but what we teach them, that will make them into successful human beings and citizens. It is being wise to allow children to go through struggle. Struggles definitely bring in changes and moments of being responsible for their actions. A number of experts worry that parents are hurting their children a lot by giving too much and expecting very little. Over protecting them from struggles deprives them of a chance to learn to cope with things or situations. Most parents are unable to say “no” to their children as they are afraid that their children would dislike or hate them.
A child is considered educated the moment we see them talented, wise and being able to do things on their own. Somehow today’s parents seem to be convinced that their children cannot do or commit wrong things. Some parents think that they cannot have emotional closeness with their children while setting limits for them at the same time.
Psychologists testify saying that giving in easily to children is a kind of virus that we transmit to children which results in making them irresponsible, teaching them to make excuses for bad behaviour due to not setting the boundaries correctly. The immediate gratification of fulfilling children’s wants and desires will have consequences on a long term especially in their future as they tend to grow up not knowing the actual value of money or not knowing how to manage it effectively. As children grow older, parents should let them undergo consequences of their faults or mistakes. Granting children their freedom is key but granting over freedom is nothing but bad parenting.
If any parent wishes to give their children a gift then the best thing that they can do is to train their children to accept and love challenges, learn from their mistakes, enjoy their (children) hard efforts and keep learning. This will help children not to be slaves of false praise and will pave their way to build their lives and repair them when required at their own confidence. When a child gets away with a wrong doing today and is punished for the same doing the next day then the child is confused and cannot recognise the boundary limits set for him or her.
The most important strategy that parents tend to forget is to overlook the benefit of chores and that responsibility is a skill that is learned.
Being a difficult thing as it is, but setting limits is one of the best and most loving thing a parent can ever do to their children. Children find safety and security in set limits and consistency. No parent would like to raise a spoiled child so it is best that parents consistently work to make their children understand the effects of staying within the boundary limits.
Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them – Oscar Wilde