I am glad my step-dad never tried to be a father to me, so we didn’t have to get into any power struggles. He became an adult friend and mentor. He was generous with his time. He listened a lot, and gave love freely,” shares Dave from the group. In this group, divorced or separating parents learn communication and parenting strategies.
Clothes having to match. Toys arranged in neat rows. Outbursts over not being able to get a task right the first time. These behaviors can indicate to parents that they may have a perfectionist on their hands, for better or for worse. Perfectionists have high standards. Perfectionists can be driven to achieve. But they can also get tied up in knots over their expectations of themselves. And as psychologist Madeline Levine suggests in her book, Teach Your Children Well, performance-oriented children “are so afraid of failing that they challenge themselves far less, take fewer risks, and therefore limit opportunities for growth.”
If you’ve ever left the house with a child wearing a superhero cape or a princess dress, or if you’ve ever noticed your child’s socks don’t match as you’re dropping them off at school or realized their shirt was on backward when you are picking them up from school at the end of the day, you know the challenges of dressing kids. Whether it’s a matter of clothes not matching or convincing your child to bundle up in cold weather, handling wardrobe issues can be sticky.
Reports in the media about ‘helicopter parents’ have skyrocketed over the past decade. The consensus from education counselors and entry-level employers is that parents are going too far making sure that their kids get ahead in high school, post-secondary education, and beyond. Instead of being helpful, parents are hovering. Rather than supporting tweens and teens, parents are swooping in and negotiating outcomes for them. But when kids don’t learn to trust their ability to navigate their own experiences, they become more helpless, which leads to shirking responsibilities and assuming their parents will pick up the slack on their behalf.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2019 Calgary’s Child