5 ways to shield your children from danger without harming their future
Posted February 27
Updated February 28
There are many dangers in the world, but being too overprotective as a parent has its dangers too. You can shield your children from danger and unnecessary evils without harming your children in these five ways:
1. Allow risks
Calculated risks are good for your children because they:
- Create unforeseen opportunities
- Teach children about their strengths, weaknesses and talents
- Encourage confidence
- Help them achieve dreams and feel alive
- Overcome the fear of failure
- Separate children from the crowd
It's impossible to protect your children from all risks. So, you have two choices: allow your children to take risks in an environment you pick or hear about them taking risks after escaping your watchful eye. Teach your children that it's OK to take safe and well-thought out risks — and allow them to make mistakes.
2. Share past mistakes
Your children can learn from your mistakes, so don't keep them secret. You teach your children that it's okay to make mistakes when you share yours. Teach them how your mistake helped you. You will have a stronger relationship and phrases like “you don’t understand how I feel” will be less common in your conversations.
Pretending you are perfect is not helpful for anyone.
3. Not everyone is a winner
You aren't doing your child any favors by letting them think they are always a winner. That contrast between winning and failing is what gives all of us the motivation to improve. Teach self-worth and confidence by providing encouragement and celebrating success while still allowing your children to lose.
If you over-compliment your children they might become arrogant and insecure. They need to see where they are strong and where they need to improve. Your children will struggle now and later in life if you try to shield them from negative feedback.
4. Allow struggles
Do not rescue your children every time they fall off their bike. They need to learn how to get up and keep going. Life can be tough and they will struggle, but if you solve all of their problems, you teach them they don’t have to work hard to get things done. Your children will forever rely on adults to get things done, and when they are adults they won’t know what to do.
Tears will be shed, but it is worth it to teach them responsibility and persistence. Protecting your children from hardships is impossible, so teach them how to get through those hard times.
5. Be honest
A little white lie won’t harm them right? Wrong. Honesty is always the best policy with your children. They will trust you and will be less likely to lie to you if they know you are honest with them. You aren’t protecting your children when you lie to them; you are destroying your relationship with them.
If you attempt to shield your children from every danger and every mistake, you will cripple them. Overprotective parents can also destroy their relationships with their children by doing just that. You will succeed as a parent and your child will succeed in their future when you avoid the overprotective instinct.
Stacie Simpson is a journalism student. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.