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the consequences of coddling

The Consequences of Coddling

coddling

What’s happening above?  Why did it used to be the student’s fault for bringing home a poor grade?  Why today is it the teacher’s fault if the student brings home an F?  One way to understand this shift is to consider the idea that many children today are coddled by their parents.  Oxford Dictionaries defines coddle as “treat in an indulgent or overprotective way”.  So, the question is, what constitutes “indulgent” or “overprotective”? What are the consequences of coddling?

Parenting is tricky, we know this.  Often it is a challenging task to find the balance between pushing our children to realize their full potential, and providing them with a caring, nurturing environment so they can experience unconditional acceptance and love.  The ways parents raise their children is closely connected to the parent’s culturally-embedded goals for childrearing.  In the United States, goals of autonomy and independence are generally highly valued.

What are the Effects of Coddling?

As children develop from infants to preschoolers, to young children, and then adolescents, they continuously acquire and refine their abilities to meet life’s challenges.  Because of this, the amount of support or “protection” needed from parents also evolves.  If parents provide too much instrumental support by not allowing their children to fall, or avoiding challenging tasks all together, they are implicitly sending a message that their child is unable to handle difficulties.  While I’m certain that even these parents are well-intended, creating such an invalidating environment may be accomplishing the opposite of their intended goals (according to, Hardy Power and Jaedicke et al. (as cited in DeHart et al., 2004)).

In general, parenting characterized by warmth, support and a reasoning approach to discipline is consistently associated with such positive child characteristics as cooperativeness, effective coping, low levels of behavioral problems, strongly internalized norms and values, a sense of personal responsibility and high levels of moral reasoning. (p. 428)

As readers are already well aware, disappointments, frustrations, and discomforts in life cannot be avoided.  The trick when it comes to raising children is not to sidestep such experiences all together, but rather to help our young ones learn to manage these upsets effectively.  Remember, there is no one right way to support, encourage, and nurture your children.  My hope is that after reading this, you are armed with additional considerations to guard against coddling your little ones.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

Sources: DeHart, G. B., Sroufe, L.A., & Cooper, R.G. (2004). Child Development: Its nature and

course (5th ed., p 411-441). New York: McGraw-Hill

Why saying no is a good thing

5 Reasons Saying “No” To Your Kids Is A Good Thing

Parents have a hard time saying no to their children because they want their child to be happy and to have positive experiences. They are concerned that if they say no, it will lead to unhappiness, defiance, a lack of creativity and a decreased sense of self-esteem in their child. Today, more than ever, it is important for parents to be comfortable with saying “no” to their children. Saying no without frustration/anger and following through with what you say let’s a child know that you care about them and that you want them to be safe. In other words, saying no is a good thing.

Here are five additional reasons why saying no to your child can be a good thing:Why saying no is a good thing

  1. Children want you to say no. They actually like structure and limit setting by parents and typically respond better to parents that can provide consistency and who hold them accountable for their actions.
  2. Saying “no” provides teachable moments. It allows your child to learn that they cannot always have what they want.
  3. It teaches children to delay gratification and to learn how to be patient.
  4. It teaches them to learn how to handle disappointment and helps them to learn how to work through disappointment through problem solving other solutions.
  5. It also teaches them how to respect their parents and other adults, as well as allows them to prepare for being in the “real world.”

Need help getting your child’s behavior under control? Click here to read a blog on 1-2-3 Magic Behavioral Principles!

The 411 on Tantrums

Temper tantrums usually occur between the ages of 1-3 and are typically common in both boys and girls.  Children might throw tantrums because they are seeking attention or cannot get what they want.  In addition, they also might throw a tantrum because they are hungry, tired, or in discomfort.  Tantrums are common during a child’s life when the child is acquiring language and trying to complete more things on his own.  A child typically understands more than he can communicate and not being able to express his needs/wants can result in a tantrum.  Once language increases and improves, the amount of tantrums seen can decrease.  Children’s temperaments are very different and can influence how often a child has a tantrum.  Some children exhibit many, where other children have few.  Just like adults, children have differing personalities that are evident even as early as toddlers, which explains why they handle situations in different ways.  For example, some children get frustrated easily where others are more relaxed and are able go with the flow.  Below are helpful tips to address and avoid tantrums.

Great Techniques to Address Tantrums:

  • Remain calm.  Getting frustrated and screaming back will only escalate the situation.  Remember to talk calmly with your child and explain why he cannot have or cannot do something.  You can also try to redirect the conversation and talk about something else. Read more