Since I’ve been a mom, I’ve thought more about how I participate in the world. Thinking about my participation with others have made me more aware of how my actions impact my family. I had to come up with ways to be helpful to my children’s success instead of enabling them to fail.
To me, my boys are the most precious people on the planet. I never want to see them hurt or disappointed. Unfortunately, the way I protect them can hinder their personal development and mental growth.
My oldest child’s official diagnosis is Asperger’s syndrome. He is intelligent, insightful and independent. While I must nurture his academic intelligence, I must also ensure that he is emotionally intelligent. It would not be helpful if I made sure he had a wealth of book knowledge but didn’t make sure he knew how to treat people. While he is an insightful child, he is still a child. He does not know best. I must ensure that the way he speaks to adults is respectful even though in certain areas he may have more insight than them. An example is when he was four and the cashier he chose could not make change. He became frustrated. Then, he blurted out the amount of money he was owed in a rude tone. I was embarrassed and so was the cashier. I had to teach him that being smart was only a big deal if you used your smarts to be helpful and not hurtful. That same conversation helped me to cover independence.
In addition to how I raise my children, I must decide if the people around them are helping or hurting their growth. I don’t allow adults, including relatives, to speak to my children in condescending tones. It does not help. I don’t allow adults to call them names nor do I allow people to tell me how I should discipline my children. Most of the time what I hear in regards to advice is more hurtful than helpful.
I want to be a helping hand to my kids and not an enabling one. Are you a helper or an enabler? How can we be better helpers?
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