Protecting Your Kids
We’ve all seen this drama.
“Carey, stop running in the store. You’re going to slip and fall.” Carey keeps running. ”I told you to stop it. Carey, you better stop, I mean it.” Carey keeps running.
It doesn’t really matter what age Carey is, because the simple fact remains that parents need to help kids know their own limits instead of ours. This is a key factor in empowering kids because ultimately we want to raise kids who take care of themselves in healthy ways.
If we nag them, put so many restrictions on their behavior that they shut down, they will cross those boundaries when they are teens. If we allow them to find their own limits, they have no one to blame when they are teens, and they have already learned that they are creating their reality.
Let’s take the case of Sherry. Sherry was from a good home, good Catholic parents who told her how she should act and what she should do. She did it–when she was around them. At the age of 17 Sherry was developing a dangerous drinking habit, finding that she had more fun drunk than sober. She couldn’t talk to her parents about it, they didn’t want to know.
Then there was Jake. Jake got pressured at home about his grades, put into advanced classes, but the communication in his home was dismal if non-existence about how Jake felt. He held a lot of anger in, and over the years he put on weight, drank too much, and one day ended up in the hospital after hitting his head in a bad fall. Jake never learned about how to take care of himself, just how to please his parents.
From the day your child is born, make it your goal to offer support as they learn to explore the world. Get rid of of the word NO from your daily language unless it is life-threatening. No is simply used as a way to control your child without giving them logical reasons for your wishes, as well as not wanting to hear their reasons.
Life is short! Make each day a day to remember.