By John Demartini
It is wiser to prepare our children for the realities of life and teach them how to embrace both sides of life, teaching about both support and challenge.
Is it possible to overprotect your child?
Overprotecting children sets up false securities and does not prepare them for the balanced realities of daily life. It is unfair to paint a utopian idealism to children and not prepare them for the other half of life.
Children who have not learned and developed self-governance will require greater outside governance. Any area of a child’s life that is not empowered, they become overpowered in.
Children who are able to set goals that are aligned with their highest values and what is most important to them, automatically become more self-governed, confident and resilient.
They are more balanced in their orientation and can face daily pleasures and pains, supports and challenges.
John says: “They are more problem solving oriented than problem avoiding.”
Challenges birth creativity
Children require challenges to facilitate the birth of innovation, creation, solution and opportunity.
John says: “Too much support and ease creates juvenile dependence; too much challenge creates precocious independence.”
Pain is part of life – we wouldn’t have pain endings at the end of our fingers if pain weren’t necessary. There is a book called “Brilliant Function of Pain”, by Milton Ward. It is about people who cannot experience pain and what new challenges they face.
Pain is your feedback! If you medicate it away, you won’t get your feedback. You need pain, discomfort and things that challenge you to grow and to learn by.
Parents overprotecting their children from all forms of discomfort, simply create internal discomforts or challenges for them. If a parent helps their child to escape challenges, they simply breed new ones that follow them like a shadow.
John says: “If you attempt to remove all challenges, discomforts and pains from your life you would miss out on all that they have brought and taught you.”
Some parents live with more frustration because of their unrealistic ideals to always protect their children. Children become addicted to unrealistic fantasies of one-sided existences and they are less prepared for real life. This unrealistic fantasy to live a life of ease without difficulty is the source of depression amongst children. Depression is a result of comparing your current reality to an unrealistic fantasy you are addicted to and holding on to.
Is fear causing you to overprotect your child?
Many people overprotect their children because they are afraid of peer pressure, judgment, or afraid their children will experience something they as parents have not learned to appreciate and love.
Whatever wounds or fears you have not learned to love in your own life, you will probably try and overprotect your child from.
Hedonism and utilitarianism started the movement that we are supposed to be happy, safe, secure and only good all the time and that it is our unalienable right.
John says: “Maximum psychological development occurs at the border of challenge and support.”
The fantasy of a utopian world with all peace and harmony, etc. can set up unrealistic expectations and undermine human development and can result in dystopian outcomes.
It is wiser to prepare our children for the realities of life and teach them how to embrace both sides of life – support and challenge, ease and difficulties, pleasures and pains, cooperation and conflict. Both are essential. We have a need for both support and challenge.
Accountability, challenge, problem solving and responsibilities are just as essential and build future entrepreneurs and leaders.
To find out more about FAMILY DYNAMICS purchase Understanding The Family Dynamic audio program by Dr John Demartini from www.drdemartini.com