KIDS NOT ALL RIGHT

Over­nur­tur­ing can have long-last­ing neg­a­tive ef­fects

Winnipeg Sun - - LIFE - JOANNE RICHARD

We over­pro­tect, overindulge, over­buy and we’re over-the-top! Add to the list over­nur­ture!

And it’s in a house near you, likely your own! While coming from a good heart, there’s no doubt it’s do­ing your kids in.

Over­nur­ture can trig­ger anx­i­ety and stunts chil­dren’s emo­tional and cog­ni­tive growth, says Dr. David Bre­de­hoft, and have kids miss­ing out on learn­ing valu­able life skills.

“Over­nur­ture ap­pears to in­hibit the de­vel­op­ment of a child’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion and re­la­tion­ship skills, de­ci­sion-mak­ing, and money and time man­age­ment skills. Fur­ther, over­nur­tured chil­dren may not know how to take on adult re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. They rely on oth­ers to com­plete tasks for them,” re­ports Bre­de­hoft, a psy­chol­o­gist and Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus, Psy­chol­ogy and Fam­ily Stud­ies, Con­cor­dia Univer­sity, St. Paul.

Over­nur­ture is when par­ents are over­in­volved in their chil­dren’s lives by giv­ing them more at­ten­tion than nec­es­sary. They an­tic­i­pate their chil­dren’s needs even be­fore their child does.

“It is do­ing things that chil­dren should be do­ing for them­selves, smoth­er­ing them with love, al­low­ing them too many priv­i­leges, mak­ing sure they are al­ways en­ter­tained, and hov­er­ing over them con­stantly try­ing to in­su­late them from frus­tra­tion, stress, and anx­i­ety,” says the author of How Much is Too Much? Rais­ing Like­able, Re­spon­si­ble, Re­spect­ful Chil­dren — From Tod­dlers To Teens — In An

Age of Overindul­gence.

His re­search in­di­cates that chil­dren who were over­nur­tured ex­pe­ri­ence a mix­ture of pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive feel­ings: A high per­cent­age (48%) re­ported feel­ing loved, and 28% re­ported feel­ing good be­cause they got ev­ery­thing they wanted, but 44% felt con­fused, while 31% felt guilty, bad and sad.

Ac­cord­ing to Bre­de­hoft, over­nur­tured in­di­vid­u­als re­port that it fol­lows them well into adult­hood:

“I don’t have to grow up be­cause other peo­ple will take care of me.”

“I have ex­treme dif­fi­culty mak­ing de­ci­sions.”

“I need praise and ma­te­rial re­ward to feel wor­thy.”

“I feel like I need lots of things to feel good about my­self.”

“I’m unlov­able.”

“I have to buy gifts to be loved.”

“I con­stantly need out­side af­fir­ma­tion from my friends.”

It’s likely a high per­cent­age of par­ents are over­nur­tur­ing when you con­sider that 43% of par­ents na­tion­wide do their child’s home­work. More fa­thers (47%) than moth­ers (39%) do home­work for their kids. A ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­can par­ents (62%) say they can be over­pro­tec­tive, es­pe­cially moth­ers.

Add to that 30% of col­lege job re­cruiters have had a par­ent sub­mit a re­sume for their child.

And 15% had a par­ent com­plain when their child wasn’t hired and 12% have had a par­ent call to sched­ule an in­ter­view for their col­lege-aged child.

GETTY IMAGES

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.