Is It Possible to Help Your Kids Too Much?

This past June a 52 year old French mother lied so that she could take a crucial English test that would go a long way in determining if her 19 year old daughter would be accepted by a university. Although she was dressed in “elaborate make up, low-waisted jeans, and converse shoes,” she was recognized by the proctor and escorted out by the authorities.  (HT: Tim Elmore)

Did mom go too far?

A CNN article tells the story of how Nicole Williams thought she’d found the perfect job applicant to hire for an open position at her company until the applicant’s mom called her to find out about her daughter’s working environment and job responsibilities. Ms. Williams withdrew the offer.

Or what about the mom whose son was going to sign to play football at a college further away than she wanted so she took the commitment papers and ran off with them? Or the mom who embarrassed her son by chanting for a rival team because he too didn’t sign with the school she preferred?

Did those moms go too far?

Those are admittedly extreme examples of a common phenomena known as “helicopter parenting.” Maybe they are so extreme that they let us off the hook because we think, “At least we’re not that crazy!” But hopefully these stories allow us to see the dangerous road that more and more parents find themselves on.

Many parents experience a conflict between the fact that they are supposed to raise their kid to be independent of them and the fact that the parents don’t want their kid to be independent of them.
Part of the conflict is due to the fact that we rely on our kids to fill emotional holes in our own lives. As parents we devote inordinate amounts of time, energy, and resources to our children, but for whose benefit?

From The Atlantic…

“We’re confusing our own needs with our kids’ needs and calling it good parenting,” Blume said, letting out a sigh. I asked him why he sighed. (This is what happens when two therapists have a conversation.) “It’s sad to watch,” he explained. “I can’t tell you how often I have to say to parents that they’re putting too much emphasis on their kids’ feelings because of their own issues. If a therapist is telling you to pay less attention to your kid’s feelings, you know something has gotten way of out of whack.”
Do you see any evidence in your own parenting that you are trying to solve your kid’s problems or trying to protect them in order to keep them dependent on you? Are you relying on your kids to be something in your life that only Jesus can be?

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