By Dr. Joshua Straub
1 The Helicopter Parent sits in the backyard with the child to ensure he never comes face-to-face with the grill of a car at all. The message the child receives is, “Since you’re the center of the universe, I’ll make sure you don’t face challenges or get hurt. When you do fall off of your bike though, I don’t believe you’ll be able to handle it on your own, so I’ll be right there to rescue you.”
2 The Religious Parent overprotects by shaming the child for not obeying the rules. Instead of being treated as the center of the universe, the child is treated as the problem. Rather than using the encounter with the grill of a car as a lesson, this parent adds insult to injury by shaming him about the incident and punishing him by taking the bike away for a month. The message the child receives, “You can’t make it on your own. Left to yourself, you’ll mess it up. You need to learn to follow the rules.”
1 The Boss Parent allows his child to ride bikes, perhaps even bigger than he can handle for his age. But when he meets the grill of the car he hears, “What were you thinking? You know the rules. Follow them. If you don’t listen, one of these days you’re going to get hit, and it’ll be your fault. You need to do better next time.”
2 The BFF Parent allows the child to bike wherever he wants through town because the backyard might limit his creativity or who he is to become. When he meets the grill of the car in the alley, this parent is writing down every detail the child can remember about the car to hunt down the person who dared drive on that alley while her son was riding his bike. The message the child receives is, “You can do it on your own. You’re amazing. When trouble comes, it’s the world’s fault, not yours. We’ll rescue you.”
It is our responsibility as parents to help children build self-confidence, determination, and resiliency so they can tackle and overcome failures, not believe they are one.
Loving our children means always acting for their best interest, which may or may not be the same as their happiness and comfort in the moment.
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"Above All Else"
The Influence of Friends
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Connect With Dr. Joshua Straub
Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, family advocate and professor of child psychology. He is the president and cofounder of The Connextion Group, a company designed to empower parents, spouses and families. Josh speaks and writes on emotionally safe parents and spouses and the influence of technology on today's family. He is the author of Safe House: How Emotional Safety is the Key to Raising Kids Who Live, Love, and Lead Well and along with his wife, Christi, is the producer and co-author of the video curriculum The Screen-Balanced Family: Six Secrets to a More Connected Family in the 21st Century. For more encouragement and ideas on marriage and parenting in the 21st century you can join Josh and a growing tribe of awesome families at www.joshuastraub.com and follow him on Twitter @joshuastraub or Facebook.
Josh and his Canadian wife Christi reside in Nashville, TN with their son, Landon, and daughter, Kennedy.
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