"Having found the father of her offspring and after building her nest and giving birth to three chicks, the worse possible thing a mother can do is to overindulge them and never allow them to hatch into healthy adults before flying the nest.
Overindulgent parents are often overprotective parents. They are not bad people, merely unwise guardians. Naturally, they want to protect their children from harm, hurt and anything that is likely to cause humiliation, rejection, failure and disappointments. On the surface this appears admirable, until we look closer and examine the experiences their children are prevented from having.
It is difficult for overprotective parents to see how their own fears for their children, through their constant and overcautious approach of 'Watch outs' and 'Be careful', are automatically transferred to the child and ironically become a self fulfilling prophesy within their behaviour pattern.
In recent years, a new name has been coined to describe mothers who will not cut their children free from their apron strings, particularly during their school years. They are called, 'Helicopter mothers!' They are so named because they hover closely around their children, rarely letting them out of their sight. For growing children, the embarrassment caused by this helicopter behaviour from their mother can be excruciating, especially when they still insist of taking them into class on a morning when the mothers of their classmates allow their children to walk through the school gate without mum.
From the minute they are born, children begin their long march towards independence. A good marker from mum is that as soon as they can take their first step and utter their first word, she should also start her long journey towards 'letting go' more and more at all the crucial landmarks of their development.
Overprotective parents create continuous situations from which their children struggle to escape the rest of their lives. By acting thus, well meaning mums become ineffectual mothers, someone whose love tends to smother as opposed to liberate. The predominant effect seen in the child's behaviour is a lack of confidence, less likelihood to trust others and an inability to socialise.
Instead of providing the child with confidence, mum's overprotective nature has instead given her child unnecessary cause to doubt, along with the message that their own judgement cannot be trusted and that they are incapable of negotiating many normal events that other children of their age handle with ease. What a message to give your child!
If you recognise yourself as a fear-filled, overprotective parent, hovering like a helicopter over your child, do try to get professional help to identify where your behaviour patterns are unhelpful as a parent and how you can change your response. You will usually find where such patterns exist today, they are rooted firmly in the the parent before being transferred to the child.
Encouraging your child to explore, conquer, climb, and master new activities provides them with the means for healthy growth and learning. Children need as many experiences and opportunities as possible to explore their environment, both physically and emotionally, without continuous interference from their parents.
Until mother has severed the umbilical cord, their child will never make a satisfactory marriage partner, however understanding their spouse may prove to be. Parents have to learn to let go and allow their children to fall, make mistakes, experience rejection, feel jealousy, to hurt and even suffer defeat. I believe that this is the most difficult lesson for all loving parents to learn; letting loose the thing you most love. It is only through 'letting go' that the child is enabled to grow their own wings of confidence, skill, responsibility and emotional intelligence. It is only then, can the child learn from all that life throws their way and has to offer them.
No parent with an open mind would want their child to lose if they could win, to fail when they should succeed or to fall and remain down when they could stand up. No parent should be so mean as to become the thief of their child's dream by expecting them to live out theirs instead. Every child has the right to dream their own dream.
When your child gets to the age of eighteen and is on the threshold of progressing to university and getting their degree before getting married, starting a family, seeing the world or joining a travelling circus, how will you best advise and support them, especially if they are proposing to do something which you think unwise or unsuitable for them? Will you love them enough to tell them: 'It's your life and you must do whatever you feel is right for you, in the full knowledge that your dad and I will stand by your decision, because we love you and trust you.'
It's not easy being a parent, but I'd rather have been one and got it wrong some of the time than never have experienced the opportunity. Strangely enough, that's exactly how a child feels, because being a child can be tough also." William Forde: August 1st, 2016.