1 YEAR OLD Are you a he­li­copter par­ent? Spot these five early warn­ing signs.

Here are five early warn­ing signs that you are be­com­ing the par­ent who mi­cro­man­ages your tod­dler’s life, says DR RICHARD C. WOOLF­SON.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

“He­li­copter par­ent­ing” – first iden­ti­fied al­most 50 years ago by an Is­raeli psy­chol­o­gist – is the term ap­plied to the par­ent who mi­cro­man­ages, takes over and con­trol’s their child’s life, no mat­ter their kid’s age.

He­li­copter par­ent­ing can start to show through even with one-year-olds. If you want to avoid be­com­ing one, here are some of the early warn­ing sig­nals:

You jump in to solve all your lit­tle one’s prob­lems

He has a new puz­zle toy, and as soon as you see him strug­gle to play with it, you ei­ther show him ex­actly what to do or you take it away from him al­to­gether.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN­STEAD Trial and er­ror is one of the ways your tod­dler learns. Through hands-on ex­pe­ri­ences, he steadily im­proves his knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing. So, don’t be afraid to let him work things out for him­self. No psy­cho­log­i­cal harm will come to him from those op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn.

Once your tod­dler is on his feet, you walk ev­ery­where with him

Your one-year-old en­joys strut­ting about, al­though he is not en­tirely steady. You take his hand ev­ery time, walk­ing along­side to pro­tect him in case he falls.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN­STEAD Quite rightly, you want to save him from in­jury, and you are afraid he will hurt him­self if he falls. But he can only im­prove his gait by prac­tice. You can still keep him safe while let­ting him tod­dle about on his own. For ex­am­ple, place him on a car­peted area in­stead of a hard, wooden floor, and make sure ta­ble corners are padded.

You make all your child’s choices for him to avoid him mak­ing any mis­takes

When it’s time for him to play, you choose ev­ery sin­gle toy he plays with be­cause you don’t want him to waste time on those that aren’t “ed­u­ca­tional”. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN­STEAD Ev­ery par­ent buys toys for their one-year-old. But once you have done that, al­low him to choose which in­di­vid­ual one to play with at least as of­ten as you make the choice for him.

Ev­ery toy is “ed­u­ca­tional” and there­fore he learns from what­ever toy he plays with. You just need to make sure he doesn’t with the same toy all the time.

Don’t be afraid to let your tot work things out for him­self. Give him a chance to learn.

You pro­tect your child from any form of sib­ling or peer conict.

Your tod­dler oc­ca­sion­ally fights with his big sis­ter ev­ery day, and each time you take his side, with­out giv­ing your older child a chance to ex­plain.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN­STEAD Tod­dlers can be very an­noy­ing be­cause they usu­ally like to play with their older sib­ling’s toys and take their pos­ses­sions, too. Your one-year-old must learn to re­spect other peo­ple’s prop­erty and pri­vacy.

In­stead of as­sum­ing your older child is in the wrong, en­cour­age your tod­dler to be­have prop­erly and to think of oth­ers.

You fre­quently tell your child’s teach­ers what they are do­ing wrong

While your child is at play­group and most of the other par­ents have left, you stay on to watch the teach­ers and to tell them how

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