Last week I talked about naysayers: people who tell you why bother to try something new or go for your dreams.  We all agreed (ok- I decided we all agreed) that these people were toxic and we should ditch them.

But there’s another type of person that persuades others to not go for something and to stay in the neutral zone: overprotective parents.

Yup.  Parents.

The worst part about this scenario is that the parents truly have the child’s best interest at heart.  They really want what is best for their child.  Alas, they are operating under the misguided notion that their child remaining unscathed is the best course of action, that never getting hurt is the best way to make a child happy.

Bad move.

We’ve all seen these parents.  At certain points, many of us have been this type of parent.  They hover.  They hand out hand sanitizer and masks when you want to go near their child.  When a child trips in the playground they exacerbate the situation by racing over, scooping the kid in their arms and checking for concussion and broken femurs.  The crying is usually a direct result of the parent interference as opposed to the boo boo.  They begin to do their child’s homework in first grade because they don’t want the child to receive a bad mark, because you know, a wrong answer could permanently damage a child’s self esteem.  They are the parent buying 10 year olds participation trophies, because everybody wins….(please don’t let me get started on participation trophies given to children after kindergarten)  They have birthday parties of sixty kids because someone might get sad if they are left out, yet they conveniently forget about said child when they are actually at the birthday party and are sitting in a corner because they are either anti-social or being ostracized- because I guess it’s better to be ignored at a party instead of not being invited at all.

And as the child gets older, though the situations change, the parental pattern of behavior remains the same.  Don’t try out for that, you may not get picked and then you’ll be sad.  Don’t apply to that school, because you may not get in, and then you will be sad.  I could keep going, but I think you get the idea…

Here’s the bottom line: your kids are going to be sad and hurt and disappointed no matter what you do as a parent, because sad and disappointed and hurt are a part of life.

Yes.  I said it.  Bad stuff happens.  Every minute of every day.  And instead of shielding your children, hiding the reality of from them, you should be explaining things to them, teaching them how to recover from disappointment, showing them how to navigate the crap that makes up life.

Think I’m wrong?

Is your life completely perfect?

Does everything in your life align properly so that you have no worries or stress?

If the answer to the above is YES, please send me the link to your book, workshop or blog, because I would love to know the secret.

Allow your child to have the opportunity to fail at something.  Teach them how to recover.  It’s that simple.



41 thoughts on “Don’t Hurt Their Feelings

  1. It is called teaching your child to be a productive adult. Shit happens and you deal with it. The other problem I have noticed besides participation trophies is telling kids that no matter what they do it is FANTASTIC. I have let my kids pass in subpar assignments thinking they will get a subpar grade only to find them getting an A because they were the best in the class “I knew it wasn’t up to standards but it was better than the rest”.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Children need to fail sometimes – as do all of us. Children need to learn how to bounce back and keep trying. We, as parents, are not going to be around for a child’s entire life —- we, normally, die first. If we were no longer around, who would pick up these “never hurt” children? They would not have the capacity to handle the slings and arrows of life.

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    1. I know! It’s so hard, but our kids need to be confident from the inside!! You’re trying and your daughter knows that! I know from your posts you’re being a great, supportive yet not crazy mom!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just remind myself that she needs to grow up to be her own person, not a mini me and that it’s my job to prepare her for adulthood. She is not mine forever.

        And thank you for your kind words.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I raised my two boys the best I could. I don’t think I was overprotective, but I am protective. Even now. They live their own lives now, and although I worry about them most of the time, I know my place now is more of an observer. That doesn’t mean I don’t hurt when they get hurt.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Sadly, the parents of these ‘sheltered’ darlings are also influencing our legislative policies…with the ban this, ban that, what if’s and ‘protect the cheeeeeeldrin!’ mantras that you hear every single day.

    It’s not up to society to protect the children from the ugliness in the world, people, it’s up to the parents to teach their children how to survive the ugliness of the world.

    I can only hope I’ve given my kids enough tools to make it. My youngest just turned 18 last year, so he’s preparing to take his first wobbly steps into adulthood even now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know. It all started with the McDonald’s lawsuit that they had to say warning, contents may be hot, on the coffee cup. You know the hot coffee cups….

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I think the rising generation is too entitled as it is. Supposedly, though, parents can’t take all the hits when these people are at middle age.
    I also think this logic transfers over to jobs and expectations from the government. They seem to think The Ones in Charge need to DO everything for everyone, and there’s really not enough incoming money for that -especially when they expect to not work hard (or work at all).

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Amen!
    Brain research shows children learn by taking risks. If a child is never in a ‘risky’ situation, brain development is altered and important neurological connections are never constructed. This inhibits further social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.
    I’m just sayin’…

    Liked by 2 people

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