Good Parents Do Nothing!!!
That’s right—you read that title correctly: Good Parents Do Nothing…well, sometimes anyway. I know it goes against our grain and our desire to create the perfect child, but sometimes the best course of action to take with your child is to do nothing. Don’t get me wrong; I still think parents need to remain very active in their children’s lives. Our children need us to guide them and even protect them at times. Still, sometimes the best and most loving course of action a parent can take is to do nothing. When we avoid taking every opportunity to intervene in our children’s activities, we communicate a very important message—”I trust you to do the right thing.” When we permit them to make mistakes rather than jumping in to “save them,” we communicate that same message—”You are a capable person who can learn from mistakes.”
If you want to communicate a different (an ineffective and less healthy) message to your child, jump right in to solve their problems, fix their mistakes, and make sure they have fun. Intervene whenever they encounter a struggle. Intrude into your children’s every activity. Make sure you are present and involved with everything they do. That way, you can communicate messages like the ones below:
· “You cannot learn on your own. I have to teach you everything.”
· “I am uncomfortable with any mistake you make. Your mistakes make me feel inadequate.”
· “I want to be proud of your accomplishments…and I’m afraid your accomplishments will not be good enough to make me proud.”
· “I secretly want you to fulfill all my dreams.”
· “You must need me or I am incomplete, useless, inadequate.”
· “You must need me or I have no purpose.”
I realize there will be times when a parent must step in and help, discipline, or play. Our children need us. However, they also need us to step back sometimes and do nothing so they can grow into competent and healthy young adults.