Every parent wants their children to become competent adults when they grow up. However, today’s over-parenting may lead children to become incompetent and over-dependent on others.
So, how does a parent know if they are over-parenting? The answer is they will never be sure when they’ve crossed the line.
It really depends on your child’s maturity and the circumstances they live in, but there are some things every child needs to be able to do before they are 13.
Isolating yourself from these things and leaving your child to handle some things by themselves is crucial for their development.
As parents, your job is to help your children become independent, so next time you want to do any of these things below, think twice. Sometimes, parenting is about more than just doing everything for your child. On the contrary, some things need to be left to their abilities.
Leave yourself out of these eight activities and watch your teen do what you wrongfully thought that you should be doing.
- Waking them up in the morning
Getting up on time is crucial for every person who has responsibilities. Your child’s responsibility is to wake up, have breakfast, and get to school on time. If you keep waking them up in the morning, now it’s time to stop and let the alarm clock do its job.
Your children need to learn that waking up on time is their primary responsibility while it’s time. If they have someone waking them up every morning, they will only partially understand the meaning of doing things or getting somewhere on time.
Let them experience the stress of not being responsible for themselves when it’s time. If you don’t, when they become adults, nobody will be around to wake them up for work. You don’t want them to learn the lesson the hard way.
- Making breakfast and packing lunch for them
You are a parent, but that doesn’t make you the kitchen robot. If only we all had a kitchen robot, who would prepare us breakfast and pack us lunch before we even wake up.
Your job as a parent is to make sure they always have food in the fridge. However, it’s your children’s job to take care of their feeding habits while they have the time to learn how to do so. When they become adults, they will need all the practice they can get while they don’t have so many things on their minds.
It may be a terrible experience at first, but as time goes by, you will see them preparing breakfast and packing lunch better than you could ever do. They really should be capable of handling this by themselves. Don’t ruin that experience, and don’t spoil them.
- Filling out paperwork
Many parents wouldn’t think that teens could fill out their paperwork for the beginning of the school year. However, if you are one of them, you are very wrong.
They should fill out the paperwork, and you should only sign it. In the end, who is going to do that for them in college or afterward, if not themselves? Put this activity into their practice and have them experience the responsibility they will have when they become more independent.
You could, of course, help them out, but they should start understanding what paperwork is and how they can handle it. If not, when they get to doing that independently, they will definitely miss the free course you were supposed to give to them.
- Running after them with their forgotten items
Did your child forget their phone or their PE uniform? Well, they should be more careful next time. But how will they ever be if they don’t experience the lack of those things because of their inattention?
If you regularly deliver their forgotten items and create states of emergency for things they should have been responsible for, they will need to learn the true meaning of responsibility. In the end, they will end up forgetting stuff for college and work that they won’t be aware of.
You don’t want them to think that Mom and Dad will always come to the rescue. Instead, let them feel more about their items and pay closer attention to how they are handling them.
- Making their failure your emergency
You shouldn’t get too worried about a school project the day before it is due. School projects aren’t assigned the day before they’re due. Because of this, you should never allow yourself to run to the store a day before their set date for things they should’ve been more responsible for.
In the end, a failed school project is not the end of the world – it would be the end of the world if everyone depended on people to make up for their failure. You should discuss upcoming school projects with your child and make sure they have the materials they need on time.
However, if they decide to procrastinate, let them experience the price that comes with it. It would be best if you were a helping hand, but not the one that does their job. You know what this means.
- Doing all of their laundry
Just like the kitchen robot, we could all use a laundry robot that would take care of all our dirty laundry on time. Well, unfortunately, we don’t have such robots yet. So, it’s best to teach your children that you’re not the only person who can do laundry around the house.
Sometimes, you could let your children do their laundry. At the least, let them fold and put away their clothes. Remember that they are capable of doing their laundry, and they should if it’s an emergency. Otherwise, who will do their laundry when they become adults?
You don’t want them to boss around their spouses and treat them like maids, and you certainly shouldn’t allow them to be treated like that. That doesn’t help for healthy growth and independence.
- Calling and emailing their teachers and coaches
If it’s something that is out of your child’s reach, yes, but in other cases, you shouldn’t get in the way between your child and their authorities. Your child should learn to respect the authorities, communicate with them, and follow their lead.
You may know the best for your child as a parent, but their teachers and coaches understand the best for their students. Instead of allowing yourself to meddle in your job and your child’s job as a student, let your child settle the issues that may arise.
It’s not the teacher’s fault if your child didn’t act appropriately or study as they should. They have their mind, and they can set things right by themselves in most cases. Let them be independent in this, too, as tomorrow, nobody will have the power to get in the way between them and their authorities except for themselves.
- Meddling in their academic responsibilities
Who did your homework when you were a child, if not you? You shouldn’t do their homework, and you shouldn’t do their projects. In the end, you’ve already earned your grades, and now it’s a bit too late to acquire new ones.
They don’t oversee everything they do in school. Discuss homework and projects over dinnertime, but let them feel more responsible toward their academic responsibilities. Please don’t ask them for every grade they get, and allow them to inform you instead.
Of course, you should show that you care about their school success, but that doesn’t mean breathing in their neck for every move they make there. Not only is it not helpful, but it can create a very negative effect.
You don’t want them to think that super-mom and super-dad will always jump in and make up for their slacking. And you don’t want them to feel that they are incapable of handling their school obligations by themselves.
What is your parenting goal? Every parent should make sure that their children will grow into independent and competent adults, ready to take on every challenge that life brings.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.