Somebody turned me onto this article and book, "A NATION OF WIMPS," yesterday on a subject that I write and yell about a lot - how we're gutting our children's self-confidence and creating a class of whiny and seriously damaged narcissists by over-parenting. The author is Hara Estroff Marano, editor of Psychology Today.

Here are some excerpts from Marano:

"The 1990s witnessed a landmark reversal in the traditional patterns of psychopathology. While rates of depression rise with advancing age among people over 40, they're now increasing fastest among children, striking more children at younger and younger ages."

"The perpetual access to parents infantilizes the young, keeping them in a permanent state of dependency. Whenever the slightest difficulty arises, they're constantly referring to their parents for guidance. They're not learning how to manage for themselves."

"In his now-famous studies of how children's temperaments play out, Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan has shown unequivocally that what creates anxious children is parents hovering and protecting them from stressful experiences. Overparenting can program the nervous system to create lifelong vulnerability to anxiety and depression."

The article and book goes on, of course, but the bottom line is this - overparenting isn't about love; it's about ego. EGO! If there's even one parent reading this who can hear me, listen up: every time you hover or cover for your child, every time you pamper or prop them up, every time you "sacrifice" adult activities to feed your child's demands, you are not coming from a place of love. You are looking to BE loved from your own place of low self-worth and damaged self-esteem. In other words, you are being selfish, not generous, needy, not giving, and you are stunting and robbing your children, not raising them. Get into therapy! Get a life! Leave your kids alone!!

1 comment:

Meghanne said...

OMG THANK YOU! I am a parent of two kids, ages 3 and soon to be 5 and I HATE it when I see parents micro-manage every thing their kids do and step into every problem their kids have. Yes I make sure my kids know if they can't handle it then come to me, but generally I don't listen to the "he said/did she said/did" crap. I don't tell them what to do other than go deal with it. I WISH I had been born and having kids in the 40's/50's because that's when things were good and parents were able to effectively parent their children without being terrified of the government stepping in and taking their kids. More parents need to quit being so over protective and let their kids learn to live on their own. Thanks again


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