Perhaps one of the most difficult things parents could experience is when they have to start “letting go” of their child, as he transitions to another phase in his life. For parents of young children, such as preschoolers, the urge may be to “coddle” him, in the hopes of protecting him from danger. It would only be natural for any parent to safeguard his child.
But when opportunities present themselves to let your child learn on his own, how do you draw the line between unnecessary hovering and reasonable guidance? How do you make a stand so that by doing what you need to do, you don’t end up spoiling him?
If you’ve heard of helicopter parenting, then you know how too much of a good thing can be bad - in this case, it’s that unwanted “hovering” around your child. Striking a balance between helping them and letting them discover things on their own is tantamount to reaffirming them of their competence, and giving them confidence that they are capable of looking after their own needs.
Says educational psychologist Michele Borba, “"It just may help (to) alter your current response with your kids. And here's a big reason why: Researchers are seeing this phenomenon of "parental hovering" (aka micro-managing, overparenting or helicoptering) as a dangerous trend when it comes to how our kids turn out. The long and the short is: If we keep hovering, we'll rob our kids of an essential trait for L.I.F.E. called self-reliance!"
The good news is that you can actually start now and slowly ease your child into being self-reliant and independent. How? We share some tips:
1. Praise him for his achievements. No matter how small or simple, a parent’s positive affirmation of his feats helps build his confidence in himself. Start with errands at home, like making his bed or setting the table. As long as the tasks are age-appropriate, then there shouldn’t be any reason for you to fear for his safety. Acknowledge that he’s done a good job. This will encourage him to keep doing those responsibilities without the help of Mommy or Daddy.