I’m a firm believer that our children are the direct result of our parenting. I have not met one person who does not have any self-limiting beliefs. These beliefs hold them back from reaching their true potential or living a fulfilling life. These belief systems are often formed in childhood and in most cases, we are not even aware that they exist.
I have met people who grew up in a family that was punitive when mistakes were made. They were hit, called names and yelled at. These are the same people who grow up and can’t own their mistakes – they have a belief that there will be harsh consequences and they will also feel that they are stupid – just like their childhood experiences. They may even learn to be a perfectionist.
There are others who, when they spilled milk, their parent showed them how to clean it up in a loving way and let them know it was ok. And it is this type of parent who helps their kids to learn and grow from mistakes. These are the people who are able to work through adversity with less stress or fear.
In either scenario – what messages are kids receiving – that mistakes mean you are stupid or mistakes are opportunities to grow and learn?
Let’s look at less obvious approaches. You are the parent who loves your kids and would do anything for them. You solve their problems, you bail them out when they are in trouble, you buy them everything they need, you take over and fill in the voids when something doesn’t come through for them.
We think we are helping them when in fact we are crippling them! We have created a child who is dependent, entitled and lacking in initiative and resourcefulness. They can’t cope with problems or stress. Why should they be motivated to do anything when everything has been done for them? How will they get along in a world that values commitment, initiative or drive?
If that is you, then I encourage you to stop – before it is too late. You may need to explain to your child, what has been happening and the negative impact it is or could have on their personal growth and development. It is our responsibility as parents, to guide our children to build the life skills necessary to get along with others and to become independent, fully functioning adults.
We need to create opportunities for them to learn on their own – to earn the money they need to buy something they really want, learn responsibility and good work ethics by teaching them the importance of giving 100% effort and being on time and following through on commitments.
They will likely resist the change in your approach and perhaps get angry. Just know that you are setting the stage for them to build confidence and pride in the results of their efforts. In doing so, they will learn to believe in themselves.