Parents love their kids desperately and worry about them all the time. When you love someone so much, you want to do everything in your power to protect them.
But sometimes that urge to protect them can lead to smothering instead. Kids need to learn how to tackle challenges on their own, but that can only happen if you back off a little. Here are a few ways to prevent yourself from becoming a smothering mother.
Talk About Safety
Making sure your children are well-prepared for any activity they’re going to do will make you feel better about the situation and their personal safety. If your daughter wants to play softball, for instance, buy her a face mask and a chest guard and let her head out the door to have fun.
Can we protect our children 100 percent from every activity they do? No way. But we can stack the odds in their favor by following simple precautions.
Teach Them Street Smarts
Even when they’re young, you should be teaching lessons to your children. Make sure they understand stranger danger and what to do if a stranger approaches them. Teach them what they should do if you happen to get separated from them in a store. Cover all the basics and you’ll have more confidence that they’ll be able to get out of a tricky situation.
But the key is to teach them these things without making them paranoid. You don’t want to convince them that the world is filled with bad people. Just let them know that most people are good, but there are some bad eggs out there they should watch out for.
Don’t Constantly Entertain Them
Are you always looking for new activities to keep your kids busy because you want to make sure they stay away from anything you wouldn’t consider appropriate? You should stop micromanaging them no matter how hard it is.
Letting your children find their own activities gives them the chance to practice their independence and creativity.
When they get older, they’ll know how to entertain themselves without relying on someone else to organize everything.
Add in Some Exercise
It’s hard to worry so much when you’re moving around concentrating on staying active. In addition to the distraction exercise provides, it also makes you feel good about doing something healthy with your time instead of worrying.
Find a Friend Who is the Opposite of You
Hanging out with a mom who lets her child tackle challenges regularly will be good for both you and your child. It will help you loosen the reins some and it will show your child that calculated risks can be a good thing.
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at email@example.com.