Episode 205. How To Be Awesome At Not Over-Protecting Our Kids

This podcast episode may ruffle some feathers but hear us out on this.

Over-protecting our kids can be one of the worst things we can do for them.

But it’s our job right - to protect our kids.  Protect our kids from harm...

But… this has sort of overflowed into protecting our kids from being criticized by anyone, from bad grades, from a tough teacher or coach, from being outside alone… not only do they need these experiences to learn and grow… but they also need these experiences so they don’t grow up thinking they are the center of the world.  

In an over-protected situation, any discomfort is immediately handled for them and life resumes in their protected bubble.

Our kids need to fail, they need to have conflicts so they learn how to resolve them… they need to be allowed to explore and try new things on their own because thats how they discover who they are - separate from us- their parents.

We want our kids to be tough and confident and independent and happy - and even though it often feels like the way to do that is to protect them from EVERYTHING and get involved in every conflict… unless it really is a threat to them… I think we need to step back and let them learn through these very valuable life experiences that they need.


Here are some key points from this episode:

-Why do we do it?  It feels right!
We see bad things on the news and we want to protect our kids.

-Examples: getting involved in conflicts at school
Calling parents over little things kids can work out
Switching them out of a class with a tough teacher
Managing their every minute so they don’t have to think or take care of themselves.
Doing everything for them so they aren’t used to helping out.

-Lindsay talks about where she has gone wrong and right in this.

-Getting involved with conflicts with other kids.

-“Saving” kids from a touch teacher or coach.

-Keeping up with other families- it’s become a status symbol in a way.  The more you protect your kid, the better you are doing as a parent.

-Children need to fail- they need to have disagreements with their friends.  This is how they learn. They need to get their feelings hurt because that is how they manage their relationships.

-They need to have some freedom and some independence and be allowed to go outside or explore things that interest them.  That’s how they become confident and figure out who they are.

-They near a clear identity- separate from us- their parents.
If they are our little princesses their whole lives.. they feel like the center of the universe.  Like they can do no wrong and are perfect.  It keeps them meshed with us - something that’s not healthy as they get older.

-When we overly manage and coddle our kids.. they don’t get any of these skills.  They don’t learn how to navigate someone with a bad attitude or a harsh teacher.  They don’t learn how to cope with adversity or failure.

-We have learned in these last few years that we have to be double and durable.  We don’t know what life will throw our way and if we are weak, we crumble and can’t handle it.  If we are constantly having to flex our grit muscles and our toughness muscles, we can handle turmoil in our lives much better.

And that’s really the best gift we can give our kids.

Happiness, independence, confidence and the life experiences to know how to manage all of it.

CHEERS to protecting but not overprotecting our kids!