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The Battle of Mothering vs Failing

Posted by MamaJean , 31 January 2014 · 2,754 views

parenting mothers kids family failure mothering overprotecting freedom discipline confidence
The Battle of Mothering vs Failing As a parent, every day one can struggle with the battle of protection vs allowing failure. It never ends.

This is what I see and what I have experienced:   When they are tiny, you have to decide what to monitor, how much to protect, and how much to allow them to learn by experience, like climbing stairs. As they grow older, you battle on how much to allow them to embarrass or hurt themselves mentally, and how much to intervene and protect their emotions. Help them deal with social aspects. In the teen years, you have to decide when to let them fall and when you must step in to prevent horrible irreversible consequences from the fact they must try everything.

You assess, reassess, and make lots of mistakes yourself.

There is no easy answer and there is no book giving you clear-cut methods. Its a crap-shoot. No matter how educated on the subject you are, those emotions of nurturing and protection kick in and create a battle in your head.

Some are very good at taming this battle and can see a bit more clearly what values they want for their child and which methods work best for themselves and their families. Some hover in the middle and do well, but the battle is a tough one. Some just are overwhelmed by the whole process and either greatly over-protect or under-protect their child. They just cannot find peace.

How does this affect the parent? Parents of over-protected children seem more stressed. More on top of everything. Micro-managers. This can stress the relationship between the parent and the child especially when the parent-child relationship is based on correction and warnings. A parent of an under-protected child seem oblivious to what their child is doing and deal with situations as they arise. This can also be not the best for the relationship due to the fact the child is left to their own devices and the parent has no idea what is going on most of the time.

Those parents who have found balance, may let their child fall, if the fall is not to great, but are always aware and ready to assist. There is usually a smoother relationship between parent and child and the parent is neither on top of everything nor oblivious.

An overprotected child lacks confidence. They typically are afraid to try new things and are not used to experiencing. They are limited, and could be socially aloof. It has been my experience that these children rebel as they reach adulthood and may explode with a sudden urge to try all things new once out of the watchful eye of their parents. But, these children are typically more observant, thoughtful, and may analyze things or situations.

An under-protected child may be of course more physically injured, more daring, and sometimes has social issues in relationships with others if they are not given proper guidance. They are not afraid to experiment. In fact, oddly enough, they may learn many more lessons that stick longer although they may be tougher ones.

But, is this all bad? What affect do under-average-over protected children have on our society? Are these differently brought up members of society crucial? Maybe so. Obviously the struggle we have as parents was put there for a reason. We cannot all be the same. What kind of world would that be??

Not Being a Parent I do not offer any expert advise of raising children. But as a fail school teacher I am aware of the problems presented by children not raised correctly.

If I've learned anything in the 30 odd years I've been raising children, I've learned that no two children are alike, and therefore no two will walk away with the same lessons. Some of the lessons are taught to us. Some behaviors are inherited as well as some are taught, and at some point parenting can not always be the culprit for a behavior. As parents and caregivers all we can really do is give our love and support regardless.

Feb 13 2015 10:33 AM

I tend to be in the middle when it comes to protecting my kids.  I try to let them find some things out for themselves and then there are other things that I must decide for them.  Just yesterday my oldest baby, who is 18 rented a place with his girlfriend.  He came to me to talk about it a few days ago and I tried to be supportive and informative at the same time.  I remember going against the grain at that age simply because of the way people tried to "tell" me what to do.  I am very proud of him and he seems to have the skill set to make it work.  Even if it doesn't work between him and his girlfriend it will be a learning experience and I made it known that he will have a home if it doesn't work out.

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