Hands-On Parenting: Three Signs That You Might Be Smothering Your Kids

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to take care of your children. After all, as a parent, that’s basically job number one! However, there’s a big difference between being there for your children when they need you and smothering them.

Mother and Daughter: article on smothering parenting

In fact, smothering your child can actually have some seriously damaging consequences. Most of the time, this isn’t done with any malicious intent. After all, most parents simply want the best for their children and just want them to be safe and happy.

Sadly, it can be all too easy to fall into habits that can leave your kids feeling frustrated and even a little bit resentful. To help you avoid falling into any of these traps, here are some signs that you might be smothering your children.


They have no independence


smothering parenting


It’s only natural to want your kids to be safe and, for a lot of parents, the best way to keep them safe is to make sure that you’re always there for them. However, this means that your kids are never really going to learn how to stand on their own two feet. Not only that but it’s hard for them to construct a sense of their own identity if you’re making all of their decisions for them. You might want your little ones to be dressed in Armani kids, but they might be more interested in dressing up as their favorite superheroes! Being able to make mistakes and figure out who they are is an incredibly important step for any child and you should be careful you’re not preventing them from being able to do that.


They are doing too many things


child on a bike - post on smothering

There’s a temptation to assume that the best thing for your children is to make sure that they’re constantly doing as many activities as possible at all times. However, this can often end up putting way too much pressure on your kids, leaving them feeling pretty exhausted.

It might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes kids need to have nothing to do. It gives them the chance to process things that they’ve done throughout the day, as well as giving them the chance to use their imagination and come up with their own entertainment.


You praise them too much


young African American child


Now, this is not to say that praising your child is a bad thing, far from it! You should always praise your kids for the things that they do, even if it’s something as small as drawing a picture that they’re really proud of.

But there’s a big difference between that and spoiling them with praise and rewards. If your children come to learn that you’ll always give them some kind of reward no matter what they do, there’s a chance that they’re going to start taking advantage of that fact.

You need to be careful not to set your children’s expectations of material rewards too high because that could easily lead them down the road of becoming completely spoiled.

Remember, there’s a big difference between encouraging your children and spoiling them. If you spoil them then that’s going to make it much harder for them to turn into well-adjusted adults.




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