How Some Children Learn to be Helpless

Some children learn to play younger or less capable than they are. They get lots of help and support and become used to it.

A child who has been over-supported in the past may equate your level as support as the amount of love you have for them.If you realize that you have been oversuporting, It makes sense that you might try to correct the situation by being less supportive and asking more of the child.

BUT! Asking the to take on new responsibilities may suddenly feel like under-support and a withdrawal of love for them, rather than the appropriate empowerment you are trying to facilitate.

It may result in some power struggles, emotional responses and resistance. So, this is what you can do if you would like to encourage more independence and capability:

1. Make sure this child knows they are loved. Fill their tank full of love. Connect and spend time together. 2. Be consistent in the skill building and your belief in them that they can do it. It will take time to learn new skills and time to overcome the idea that they might not be capable.
3. Encourage with positivity and connection. Be careful not to slide into impatience and jugement.

Children can feel a disconnection when they are encouraged to support themselves more and to contribute to the home more… especially if they have become used to you doing lots for them.

Ultimately an empowered child and capable child is a happy child.
It does not feel good to not feel capable and to not believe in yourself.

As a parent, it can be tempting to find a lot of meaning in parenting, and to “do parenting really well” by being really helpful and supportive.

But… there is indeed such a thing as too much support.


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