Can you actually do too much for your children?

Katherine - posted on 06/19/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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A friend of mine posted the link to this article on Facebook. I wish I had read it 20 years ago. Of course, I probably wouldn't have listened because I had firm ideas of what a "good mother" should and shouldn't do. I knocked myself out trying to be the best possible mother. Now that my kids are 19 and 22, I'm questioning what I did. One of my children seems happy and well-adjusted, while the other seems utterly lost. It is too late for a do-over with my kids, but I thought some of you might find this interesting and reexamine how you are raising your children. Here's the link:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arch...

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Lucy - posted on 06/22/2011

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I think you can do too much for kids. Essentially, we need to be bringing them up to survive in the adult world, so the more responsibility they can be given as they grow up the better they are likely to handle the transition, in my opinion. Obviously responsibilities need to be appropriate for their age, but a way I have heard it said that I find helpful is: "don't do something for your child that he or she is capable of doing for themselves"

Jessica - posted on 06/23/2011

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My mother did those things too. I will help my kids as well. But like my mother, I will have them be as independent as they can be. I don't think what you did was bad. You loved your kids and wanted them to have things like that. It isn't bad.

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Donna - posted on 12/01/2011

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Lucy L., I couldn't have said it better myself!
I think you have unlocked the key to parenting!

Katherine - posted on 06/23/2011

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Thanks for your helpful responses. It may be that kids who have to learn to cope with adversity early in life just mature faster. They don't really have a choice. I hope mine will catch up in a couple of years.

Tamara - posted on 06/23/2011

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The thing is you were doing what you felt comfortable doing at the time, the things you felt were right. There is nothing wrong with that. it is not to late to teach them these skills it will be a little harder since they may be set in their ways. You did a great job with what you had.

Katherine - posted on 06/22/2011

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I agree with all of your comments, and I realize that I pampered my kids too much, so good for you for realizing that before it was too late!

What I'm really talking about, though, is how much of myself I invested in raising them. I tried to do the very best I could, taking them to parks and interesting places every weekend, reading to them, working in their classrooms and every school event, supervising homework every night, helping with Girl Scouts, driving them to after-school activities, arranging playdates, making family dinners a priority, and on and on.... Some of it I enjoyed, and some of it I didn't, but mostly I did it for my kids.

Anyway, my girls have a friend they grew up with who had no financial stability. Mom and Dad were preoccupied with their business, so a different person picked her up from day care every night. They moved about eight times and sometimes camped out in the homes of family members. Mom didn't worry about homework, after-school activities -- none of that stuff. I believe the parents truly love their daughter, but they just didn't have time for any of that.

So now that they're young adults, guess who is more confident and self-sufficient? She is!

It makes me wonder whether all the work I put into raising my kids made them a bit entitled and self-centered. Did all that effort even make any difference?

I think if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't try so hard to get an A+ in motherhood. This is just food for thought for those of you who still have little ones...

Tamara - posted on 06/22/2011

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I decided many years ago I am not raising boys, I am raising two great husbands of tomorrow, teaching them to cook, clean, sew, bake, garden, ironing anything that it takes to live they can do. This has make them respect things a lot more. Not saying I am a great mom by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel if I give them these tools they wont be dependent on anyone.

Amanda - posted on 06/20/2011

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I think sometimes you can do too much for them. The amount of adults that just have no idea how to do simple things like use a washing machine or hoover is quite scary.
I'm all for letting my kids do it for themselves as they get older.
My kids (3yrs and 21 months) are both very stroing willed and independant so I'm sure I won't have a problem of doing too much for them

Vegemite - posted on 06/20/2011

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My father-in-law told me "It's not always what you do for your kids but what you teach your kids to do for themselves."
I thought that was a good bit of advice.

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