With the passage of time, families have gone from an authoritarian style to an overprotective one and despite knowing the causes and risks, this model continues to be one of those that many families choose not because they want to but because they do not see other options or have other tools with those who are comfortable.
Sometimes protection and affection are confused with overprotection. But, How to protect children without becoming overprotective?
- Protect your child is concerned meet your basic needs like eating, sleeping, giving him a space to study or answering specific questions he may have. Being overprotective is doing the tasks that have been sent to him or studying together so that he does not get distracted.
- Protect is support him and give him affection when he asks us for help. To overprotect is to anticipate his emotions or his behaviors without giving him the opportunity that he needs you or communicates it to you; because it still surprises you and if he sees himself in some difficulty, he can express how he feels about himself or ask his brother or other people for help.
- Protect is offer you solutions to solve your problems autonomously. To be overprotective is to intervene and speak directly without your child facing the situation. For example, with the children's parents so that they can give you the next day's homework or to be friends with him.
- Protect is report hazards and to prevent them from getting hurt (such as putting their fingers in a socket or crossing without obeying you), overprotecting is warning them of each and every one of their possible mistakes. For example, checking the backpack with him every night and reminding him of the tasks he has to do so that they do not cause an incident at school. It is important for children to explore the world and make mistakes so that they can learn from them within limits.
The balance to be affectionate, but at the same time that there is discipline is complicated. Therefore, we offer you certain strategies that will help you to change to a democratic style in an appropriate way:
Don't make sudden changes: The best thing is that you incorporate small variations in your way of educating, otherwise it will feel very forced and your children will not understand that new way of educating either. For example, do not suddenly stop studying with him, try to make it just a few subjects or for a certain time instead of the entire study session.
The best time to change is now: You have to keep in mind that it will never be an ideal time to try to improve your style, so if you detect that you have an overprotective style and want to have a balance, it is best that you try to make small improvements in your day as soon as possible. The overprotective style is not good when the child is a baby or when they are adults, so do not fool yourself or make an excuse, it will be easier if you set a goal and a deadline to start.
Be strong: Do not constantly give in because you think that he will not succeed or will get frustrated. Firmness is not synonymous with authoritarianism, you can speak to him in a sweet and affectionate way, but at the same time stay in your position. He thinks that if you do it to him because you do it better or due to lack of time, he will never learn and he will think that in the long run the problems will solve themselves or that he is incapable. You have to remember that the important thing is that you carry out activities, discover the world and have tools to deal with it, and if you need it, be able to express it so that someone can help you.
Set limits and tasks: Don't just give him a single task and, for example, study. If you reduce his world to a responsibility and he does not do it well, you are damaging his self-esteem. It is better that you pose several challenges and commitments, so if he fails at something, he will see that there are other tasks that he has done correctly.
Poses alternatives: Controlling each decision does not promote autonomy and produces a great physical and emotional exhaustion, so within a margin, let him make decisions for himself or take charge of a task that in principle is of little importance but that he cares about. It will make you feel good about yourself. For example, let him choose between going to the park or going to the movies or picking up toys (even if that's not the way you would order it).
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