Tag Archives: disappointment

Sept ’19 Q&A – What to Do About Lying

Q. My 9 yo son recently stole some money, told me he didn’t, and that his friends must have. Then he planted the money in his sister’s room to frame her before telling me to, “search my room”. I’ve no idea what to say or do. I asked him repeatedly. I left a pot out for the money to be put back anonymously, and then he hides it in his sister’s room.

A. This is a tough situation for all of you. I’m sure there are deeper issues besides the coverup of the money that have led to this situation and need to be addressed. I suspect that underneath the behavior (lying), which is always a signal to a deeper need, there are trust issues. Namely that your son doesn’t trust you because he has learned that you don’t trust him, and therefore he is doing what he can to get away with what he wants. Nothing wrong with a child trying to get what he wants. But when he becomes devious to do it, then there is a problem. The deviousness comes out of a fear that he can’t get what he wants otherwise. There is not trust.

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10 Ways to Stop Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter mom
Helicopter parents not only take too much responsibility for their children and fix their problems to protect them from upset or disappointment, they also tend to be overly punitive by not taking responsibility for themselves and blaming their children for their own problems.

When boundaries are poor, a parent tends to bleed the line between her problems and her children’s, unable to tell the difference. If she has a problem—exhaustion, impatience, upset—she may make it her child’s problem by reacting punitively and lashing out with blame or criticism for her child’s annoying behavior. If it’s her child’s problem—anger over being told what to do, forgetting homework, getting a bad grade—she may make it her problem by taking responsibility for it, fixing it or trying to making it go away.

When boundaries are not strong and a parent hovers to closely, the child learns to depend on the parent to step in, even in ways he doesn’t like, and so can relinquish responsibility. As he grows, he may lash out hostilely at his parent for creating the dependency he has grown accustomed to.

The most important counter action to helicopter parenting is consciousness-raising on the part of the parent to see the patterns that get established. Becoming aware of tendencies from her own background that prompt her to hover, protect, and control can release the ties and initiate the letting go process.

If you’re not sure whether or not you helicopter parent, ask yourself:

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5 Building Blocks to Raising Resilient Children

How well does your child deal with adversity, cope in difficult situations, become stronger after disappointments? In other words, how resilient is she? We often think that our job is to protect our children from the tough situations of life, but in fact, our protection helps only us. We don’t want to hear their anger, experience their sadness, or deal with their disappointment. In many cases, we were not allowed those feelings so we don’t know how to allow our children to have them. They may frighten us—so we make sure they don’t have them. When we prevent these experiences, we diminish their resilience, their ability to cope with life’s inevitable frustrations and situations beyond their control.

Building resilience in children requires that we:

  1. Trust our child’s ability to handle difficult problems
  2. Convey in words and body language confidence in their ability to cope
  3. Allow and accept their feelings of sadness, fear, anger, disappointment over situations they cannot change
  4. Do not jump in to rescue them or fix situations that cause their frustration in order to avoid our own fears
  5. Balance our own wants and needs with theirs, which will inevitably cause their frustration and disappointment

Children are so much more capable of dealing with and solving problems than we give them credit for. Our natural sense of nurturing can easily switch to overprotection when we think we are responsible for our children’s happiness. We do not serve them by protecting them from unhappiness or telling them they shouldn’t feel what they are feeling. Let their tears flow; allow their anger and disappointment. You don’t have to do or change anything. Simply acknowledge and empathize with those feelings. They need to know they are normal.

Many situations are too much for children to handle: a school environment that puts on too much pressure, a truth that is too much to handle, etc. But life inevitably throws us situations beyond our control, and how well our children are able to get over them and move on depends on their resilience. A schoolmate who taunts with a hurtful name, a desired toy you think inappropriate or unaffordable, a limit that feels unfair all cause natural feelings. Allowing those feelings does not mean changing the situation or giving in to make them happy. Their ability and opportunity to feel sustains their resilience to move past the feelings. read more