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When Parents Are Trying Too Hard, Loving Their Kids Becomes Destroying Them

When Parents Are Trying Too Hard, Loving Their Kids Becomes Destroying Them

Parenthood is a constant question with no definite answer. Will this benefit my child? How will my choices and actions affect them in the future? The truth is, everyone is doing their best. And as a parent trying their best, you must understand that your child is also doing their best. In your efforts to push them to success, you may be hurting their self-esteem [1] in the process.

Expectation Isn’t Everything

All parents want what is best for their kids, and for them to have the opportunities that they didn’t. Or perhaps they just want them to follow in their footsteps to achieve the level of greatness that they have, or better. That’s why they choose to instill those values in them at an early age. To work hard, and to do well.

Children absolutely need that encouragement and that support to excel and flourish. But there definitely is a limit. When the need for success is taking a toll on your child’s happiness, [2] parents need to look at the bigger picture here. Their personal well-being is more important than achieving a perfect score. Parents’ needs for their flawless success could be blinding them from their deflating ego. While children need their parents’ support to thrive, they need it even more when they fail.

We all excel in different forms of intelligence.

This unnerving need to succeed, achieve, and win can have some very negative effects on a developing child’s well-being. They will harbor this supposed value throughout their lives, leaving them completely devastated in the event that they inevitably fail. College students especially struggle with this when they are unable to achieve sometimes unrealistic expectations.

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This negative reaction to failure is an indication of low self-esteem, which is a learned reaction that deepens over time. To these kids, it is completely unacceptable and they are less of a person for making a mistake.

What these children never learned, because their parents may have not been aware, is that there are nine types of intelligence’s.[3] Just because an individual does not excel in one area does not mean that they are unintelligent or incapable.

  1. Nature Intelligence
  2. Musical Intelligence
  3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
  4. Existential Intelligence
  5. Interpersonal Intelligence
  6. Bodily-Kinetic Intelligence
  7. Linguistic Intelligence
  8. Personal Intelligence
  9. Spatial Intelligence

If your child is struggling academically, look at their strengths and weaknesses. Help them to excel in the areas that naturally “click” with them, and get them extra help where they might come up short. Consider your own strengths and weaknesses, are they similar to your children?

Pressuring the children can cause them not to trust their parents.

Although parents may think they are disciplining their kids for the good, they could actually be doing them more damage than good. Because these children are intimidated by their parents, they are less likely to approach them during a time of need.

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Children may assume that their parents lack all capability of understanding, so instead of asking your permission for anything, they will sneak around. Children of strict parents tend to become masterfully manipulative and deceitful; a well honed skill that they acquired after years of tyrannical oppression.

This lack of trust is incredibly damaging to an emotionally developing individual. They need an environment where they are allowed to make choices, and don’t question if they’ll receive their parent’s support if they make a mistake.

There are some methods to help nurture children’s self esteem.

It can be difficult to watch from the passenger side when all you want to do is grab the wheel. But you’ve raised a very capable little human, and you need to let them fall a few times so they know how to pick themselves back up. Here are a few tips [4] to help them learn for themselves and build up their confidence.

Praise them for their efforts, not their outcomes.

The common term “ya win some ya loose some” takes strong precedence here. Because although it is cliché, the fact that they tried really is the most important aspect of all. What techniques did they use in the process? What are some ways that they overcame obstacles and thought outside of the box? These are the variables that you need to focus on, so that next time they will do better. Praise them for those little accomplishments along the way. Next time they will take them so much further.

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Let them fail and own the consequences.

The best way to learn is by experience. You can tell someone not to do something time and time again, but that curiosity will get the best of them eventually. Instead of sheltering and shielding them, allow them to make some mistakes. Allow them to fail. Let them find their own way to absolve the situation or at least learn from it.

This will help them to build their confidence and self awareness. It hurts to watch them fall, but think of how proud you will be when they dust themselves off and outsmart the odds.

Don’t focus on the negatives, look for the strengths.

Remember what we spoke about the nine intelligence’s? Well, they’re making a comeback. Instead of focusing on what your child cannot do, help them search for what they can. They’re not a failure because they’re not an all-star athlete like their parent. Perhaps they are book smart or artistically talented instead. Help them to identify these strengths and nurture them. You will have a common goal, and it will only bring you closer.

Give them responsibilities.

By doing so, you are putting your trust in them to do a job well done. It is now their personal responsibility to complete these tasks, which gives them a sense of obligation and achievement.

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Home is where the heart is.

Make sure that they know no matter what, home is where they can feel sake. Home is where they are accepted, and where they are loved. Always take the time to show interest and affection to your children. Let them know all of the qualities that you love about them, and ask them to name what they like about themselves. Practicing love and self-love is the best thing you can do for their emotional well being.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1]Cardinal Glennon: Parents can influence child’s self-esteem
[2]KidsHealth: Developing Your Child’s Self-Esteem
[3]Skyview High School: The Nine Types of Intelligence
[4]Developmental Psychology at Vanderbilt: Instilling Self-Esteem in Children

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Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1]University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2]Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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