The Needy Parent Test
Posted by: Sue Atkins
I’ve recently separated from my husband and I’m very aware that my kids keep checking in on me to see if ‘I’m alright’ when they staying over at friends, or out for long days, which is really sweet of them but unnecessary as I’m fine filling my days with my work or watching the Olympics or walking my 3 dogs. There’s a big difference between ‘being alone’ and ‘lonely’ and I’ve always been very happy in my own company and very confident travelling on my own and doing things by myself over the years and have loads of great friends.
But it got me pondering about being a ‘needy parent.’
We all know that children need their parents, but some parents seem to NEED their kids too?
In my experience of working with parents and children for over 25 years I often see parents who depend on their children to make them feel loved, successful or otherwise happy and that makes kids feel pressured, resentful and guilty. I think children need independent parents – parents who take responsibility for building their own successful lives. Independent parents who give their kids the space they need to develop and grow to their own true unlimited potential and to step into their own adult lives.
Of course we play a really important and special role in our children’s lives, as we guide, nurture and nudge them into independence and teach them how to cook, use the washing machine and manage money, let alone teach them how to express themselves confidently and show kindness, empathy and compassion!
It’s a gradual and gentle process and not a competition ( as I remember not joining in with the Mums at my local toddler group comparing who was on a proper cup with who was still on a beaker with a lid !) but some parents like to do almost everything for their child long past the time when their child can actually do things for themselves and this actually robs them of the opportunity to grow, learn and make mistakes.
There may be lots of reasons for this happening sometimes it’s easier or quicker to do it yourself, sometimes you’ve run out of patience for your child’s learning process, or is it because you are a a bit too nurturing, or because it makes you feel needed and important?
Here’s an interesting article from Parenting -Advice.net that will get you pondering further and if you’d like to work with me you can call me on 01343 833355 to help you get back that healthy balance.