Where Extreme Precaution Ends, Real Parenting Begins

"I don't even let my kid get bitten by a mosquito" is a famous amphibology by parents in this part of the world. It simply means that the parents protect their kid so much; way beyond the basic of parenthood.

Majority of parents are notorious for taking care of their kids like they're made out of glass or some similar fragile component. Given that there are a billion dangerous things that can harm the person you love more than yourself, the reaction is nothing but natural. 

I was once like that when my firstborn was still younger. I was demented by paranoia that something bad will happen. I told his nanny not to let my son go near the huge old tree at my mom's backyard because it might  break apart and fall down on him. My mom heard what I said and laughed hard. "You'll loosen up once you have a second child", she said.

Yeah, she's the one to tell. My mother forbid me to cross the street without supervision {preferably her} even when I was already old enough to. She would tell me that there's a chance I will get hit by any moving vehicle known to man. The way she said it was a certainty, not a possibility. I'm now in my 30's and still fearful of crossing any street! I look in amazement as people cross the street {especially the busy ones} like they've got some special skill or talent.

Of course, this doesn't happen to all, but extreme parental precaution can have consequences that are not so good. When Mark Twain said that "too much of anything is bad", clearly, he wasn't just referring to chocolates.

What are these consequences, may I ask?

Slow to Adapt

Life is so much easier when someone takes care of you. You rarely have to worry about anything else because you know that mom and dad both got your back. You can eat your fish confidently knowing that your loving mother removed all the pin bones that might go to your gut, puncture your stomach and kill you.

That works when your child's 5 years old. When parents practice extreme precaution, the child might have a hard time adapting to the real world once he gets older. He/she might not be able to thrive completely especially in complex situations.

Inability to Accept Disappointment

When my cousins and I were younger, a distant relative would always caution us to speak in a monotonous tone when we're playing with her daughter. All forms of playing - what normal kids do - that her mom felt would be offensive to her daughter was a major no-no. In others words, we were walking on eggshells every time we played with her. Her daughter grew up with 0.01% tolerance for disappointment. She's been through a dozen jobs as a result. Every disappointment {small or grand} kills her.

The implication of the way my distant relative raised her daughter through extreme precaution is not benefiting.  There will come a time when you will have no control of the people around your son or daughter. You can not warn his/her immediate superior or boss to go easy on your kid so as not to hurt his/her feelings unless, you own the company. 

Fears Might Continue Until Adult Years

Sometimes, we tell our kids fibs {i.e. "Don't eat candies because worms will come out of your teeth and eat you."} so that they'll be out of harm's way and that's okay to a certain point. Heaven knows, I've done a lot of it myself. But, when you've turned your son into Bubble Boy, something's very wrong.

The fear might continue well into your child's adult years and might hamper their ability to function properly as any normal person would.

The upside of kids being fearful is that they become more careful in dealing with things than most kids, but that doesn't necessarily make them immune from danger. Your daughter might follow the strict 65 kph speed rate with both hands on wheel, but others on the same freeway don't. 

As a parent myself, I understand the innate force that drives us to protect our children at all costs.  The intention is flawlessly good, the outcome, however, is not. Sometimes, the protection exceeds what's necessary and that's where problems arise.

The best protection we can do is to prepare them for certain changes in life, both the inevitable and uncertain. There's a limit to a parents' protection. You and I both know that the world will not be as kind to them as we are. Our kids should know and understand how to protect themselves. That's the best protection we can give.

Best Blogger Tips

Receive The Latest Posts Directly To Your Email - It's Free!
Email rss

Onward and Upward!
T: @themommist
F: The Mommist

Photo Credit: www.selectivemutismonline.com


Post a Comment

Comments are very much appreciated! Thank you!