How often do you see a young child out in a restaurant, about six years old being spoon fed by his mother or yaya? A correct observation would be to say “quite a lot”, but the sad truth is, it’s happening with greater frequency in this day and age than when we were children ourselves.
This doesn’t just encompass eating habits, but bathroom behavior, homework practices and even age-appropriate responsibilities at home. This can be traced to the actual statistic that more women in the country hold regular jobs, thus veering them away from the more traditional responsibilities and delegating them to caregivers.
Conversely, more fathers have adapted the nurturing role, and some even are proud stay-at-home dads, and with the new philosophies of hands-on parenting, many concepts of proper care may possibly be taken too far; and although the intentions of some parents may stem from love, the consequences could be undesirable which can leave one to ask him or herself in frustration, “Why can’t my daughter do this without me? Where did I go wrong?”.
Similarly, we can point a finger at our culture, albeit Westernized, we still retain many a colonial virtue, such as allowing children less freedom because we are afraid in many ways for them to make mistakes.
Whatever the roots of this behavior pattern are, let us assure ourselves that they are in no way negative, as concern for our children is always a noble virtue. Let’s step away from over-analysis and begin realizing that we can raise self-reliant children that will grow up into confident adults. This may be difficult initially, as you will learn to balance more freedom with responsibility, and wean off from common habits. Whether you are a parent “backing-up” and starting anew with your big kid, or just beginning on that stage, here are some pointers that may be of help:
Nurturing and Praise Gradually allow your child to do more of everything on his own, paying specific attention to safety. Small things like making his or her own bed, taking food from the family table to his or her plate, selecting appropriate clothing and dressing into them properly are some ideas to start with. These vary from family to family but the core concept is letting your child participate in his own life more. You may make this a confidence booster for your big kid with bestowing enough praise and encouragement.
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