What Controlling Does to Your Children

By Janis Meredith | Posted 5/4/2020

Parents doing their kids’ homework?

Parents ruining Easter egg hunts because they’re grabbing eggs for their kids?

Unfortunately, even though these scenarios are laughable, they are a very real and sad picture of the extent to which parents will go to make sure all goes well for their kids.

You may say, “I would never trample over kids at an Easter egg hunt or even take over my kid’s homework.” No, probably not. But, parents often do other things, some of them very small and seemingly insignificant:

•         Pick up their clothes

•         Fill out forms for them that they can do themselves

•         Put away their toys

•         Call coaches to “explain” their child’s behavior

•         Resolve their child’s conflicts with their friends or coach

•         Reschedule appointments when they accidentally double-book

There are numerous ways that parents clean up after their children. Initially, the kids may love Mom and Dad today for doing so much for them. That will change once they’re 30 years old still trying to figure everything out.

Parents who do too much for their children can expect:

•         Kids who grow up lazy and unmotivated

•         Kids who don’t reach their full potential


When parents are tempted to step in and help their kids, they may be doing it to relieve momentary stress, but in all honesty, they are setting them up to fail in the end.

How many times have you been tempted to “step in?” Have you talked to your child’s coach when they aren’t getting playing time? Asked a teacher to help your child when they aren’t doing good in school? (Young children may need some help here, but middle and high schoolers should take this on themselves.) Interfered in a friend conflict for your child?

I’m still tempted to “step in”, especially when it comes to my youngest who is now 26. But, I’ve learned that my interference is the last thing she needs. We tried to train her to fight her own battles and now she’s practicing that on her own.

Whether you are a parent, a teacher or coach, your responsibility is to prepare your kids today to be responsible adults as they grow up. Author Susan Peters once said, “Children have a much better chance of growing up if their parents have done so first.”

A child’s strength and self-esteem rise, not by mere words, but when parents are loving and demanding. They love by encouraging, believing and supporting their kids. They demand by setting standards and holding kids accountable to them.

Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.


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