It is right that the little ones also experience negative feelings. In fact, children need to experience various emotions, including sadness and melancholy and should not be overly protected by anxious and hyper-present parents, who perhaps, even if in good faith, would like to make their children appear the perfect world.
Beware of helicopter parents
The "helicopter parents", as the German writers have explained Lena Greiner e Carola Padtberg, authors of the book Parents helicopter. As we are ruining the lives of our children (Feltrinelli Editore in Del Paese) they are so nicknamed because they always circle around their children just like helicopters, monitoring everything they do and landing at any time to help them with every little thing.
“They are anxious, ambitious, and want to control everything and get involved in everything, whether it's food in kindergarten, school trip or their children's study subjects,” they say in an interview with them from MyModernParents.com.
Instead, children should deal with any negative feelings from an early age, without being overly controlled by their parents. The journalist talks about it in detail in an article in the Canadian magazine cbc.ca Natalie Romero, who explains, starting from a personal experience, how important it is to allow children to experience sad moments, avoiding making their lives "fake perfect worlds". Here are the words of the writer.
“My son started playing hockey only two years ago. He was already on a team, but this year he wanted to try competitive hockey. While I wasn't thrilled with the idea of adding even more hockey to our schedule, I thought there was no harm in letting him throw a pitch. After the tests, the little one anxiously waited for the results - we kept updating the website, until it was finally time to go to bed. He fell asleep and after a while we saw that he was cut off from the team. My heart sank and his father wondered aloud how we were going to tell him».
“I imagined going to that coach and kicking him in the shin. Instead, I went to sleep with a heavy heart, knowing my husband would deliver the bad news in the morning. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my children smile. When they are happy, I am happy. Their sadness can cause a very deep pain in my heart ».
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“Our job as parents is to protect our children and this is one of the first promises we make to our children. The amazing thing about life is that it can sometimes punch us so hard that we can barely breathe. As humans, we know this. By the time we reach adulthood, we have typically already experienced great suffering or even two. But yet, as parents, we are terrified of allowing our children to experience any kind of pain, regardless of how small or how big it is ".
We don't want to see our children suffer. We protect them. But that's not really our job
“We don't want to see our children suffering. We don't want to see their tears. So, we do what we think we should do: we protect them. The truth is that this is not really our job. Our job as parents is not to make life easier and easier for our children. Our job is to do our best to raise good human beings. As much as we want to protect our children from the darkness of the world, at some point they will experience adversity. How will they overcome those difficulties if we have never allowed them to develop the right skills? ”.
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“If our children are hungry, we quickly find food for them. If they have to go to the bathroom, we stop everything to find a bathroom right away. If they are cold, we give them our sweaters even when we have warned them to pack properly. As parents we do our best to prevent our children from having problems. We bring snack or lunch bags to school, help them finish school projects, and run around looking for lost library books. But none of this helps them. On the contrary, it hurts ».
“All of this can help us feel like better parents, but it doesn't teach our children to be responsible for themselves. We don't know what we're capable of if we don't go our own way. We build perseverance only by failing, falling, feeling defeated and doing things we didn't think we could do. "
“When my daughter told me she wanted to audition for our city's Nutcracker show, I almost discouraged her from trying. I thought she would never have a part of her, but I told myself that maybe it would be a great life lesson for her: "You don't always win, even when you work very hard and give your all." Eventually she took part in the performance. How wrong would I have allowed my own "fears" to discourage her even more?».
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“What message do we send to our children when we protect them from hardship? Do they really feel loved? Or do they think we don't trust their abilities? The morning after learning that my son had been cut off from the hockey team, I walked into the room while his father was breaking the bad news. '
We need to allow our children to feel sad
"The baby had his head down, I wrapped my arms around him and whispered, 'I'm sorry.' I didn't use words to try to ease his pain. I didn't try to justify the manager's decision, I didn't even tell him that he could try again next year. I just stood next to him and let him know I was there, and let him feel sad. We need to allow our children to feel sad».
“I can't protect my children from every bad feeling that might come to them. I do not want. Yes, they will fail, their heart will break. Life is full of difficult things: divorce, illness, death. I can't make these things disappear, but I can help my children understand that they have the ability to overcome difficult things».
“At dinner time, my son was at peace with himself. He had gotten over the bad news. He spoke enthusiastically about his team of all time. I felt better knowing that he had recovered. Our children are capable of doing so much if we give them the opportunity to prove it ».
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