We live in such a weird time – while we feel more connected to the rest of the world than ever before, we are slowly becoming disconnected from those around and closest to us. Unfortunately, our children often suffer from this disconnect although we all want to connect and be involved with them. Children of involved parents generally feel more confident, assured and have a high level of self-esteem. They tend to excel in school, do well in extracurricular activities and with their hobbies.
As beneficial as connection with your child is, it is important not to overcompensate and become overly involved. Is there such a thing as too much involvement? Yes and it is imperative when you are becoming engaged with your child’s life and activities that you recognize where the line of over-involvement exists.
While you are trying to develop or continue to foster a bond with your life you must ensure that you do not intrude too much upon their lives. Children need space and privacy in order to develop their own skills, talents and abilities. In our eagerness to help our child succeeds, it is tempting to step in and do things for them that you feel they are doing incorrectly or inadequately. However, this is their chance to learn on their own and being overbearing will only stunt their ability to naturally develop skills.
Your role is to encourage and support your child and offer praise at a job well done – as well as stepping back and allowing your child to learn from their mistakes and to develop their own way of doing things.
When it comes to their social lives, try to make yourself available should they need to talk and encourage them to share their troubles with you so you can help them sort through a problem. Do not become too overbearing and nosy. If they say they do not want to talk about it or they just need some time to figure things out for themselves, respect that need by letting them know you are available and by giving them their space.
Participating in your child’s life can often times be a spectator sport – the important thing is to make sure your child is aware of your presence, your attention and your love. Take interest in the things they tell you, learn about the things they like and guide them through their problems to their own solutions. By doing so, you will raise a strong, confident and independent child.