Do Not Make Your Child an Under-Functioner – How can parents know when they are doing too much for their child? How can parents help their child become responsible? The team of this Special Needs Blog thanks Stacy Eva for her parenting tips on how to raise kids who are not helpless. By over-functioning for a child, parents inadvertently rob him of the skills and practice necessary to develop competence and mastery in his life.
Kids need those they love to be proud of them and this means they have to be able “to do” praise worthy actions. Our children must grow up to be capable, reliable, responsible adults and all this starts in childhood. Children whose parents do not teach them to stand on their own two feet become under-functioners who are always looking for someone to swoop in and rescue them like a best friend, a classmate, and, later in life, a spouse. Parents must learn when to push, when to give a little nudge, when to pick up the pieces, and when to let go.
If a child has special needs, a behavioral disorder, a learning disability, etc. parents often over–focus on their child. In these situations too parents have to carefully balance the help they give. With too much “HELP” you can end up with a helpless young adult.
What do adult under–functioners look like?
Under–functioners are skilled in the art of “learned helplessness.” They have quite literally learned to be helpless, because someone was always there to pick up the pieces for them. They often act irresponsibly, aren’t able to handle uncomfortable emotions well, float without goals, become ill a lot, can tend to become addicted to substances, ask for advice when they need to figure things out for themselves and get others to always help them.
Under-functioners will often search out a partner who will take care of their needs and pick up where their parents left off. And keeping a job is hard for under–functioners, because they’re always looking for someone to swoop in and rescue them. For many people who were raised this way, the world is a scary place—and instead of venturing out and making a life for themselves, they choose to stay home with mom and dad indefinitely.
Guest Post by Stacy Eva
Do Not Make Your Child an Under-Functioner
When children are still kids they have very little inhibition and can do anything either in the family or within the society. Also they do not understand their role.
Since they don’t know their roles, a parent is the only one who will take over many of their responsibilities. At this age they are still called children, but they know quite a bit concerning what they are doing. What you are expected to do is just to teach them on how to be responsible wherever they are, whether in school, at home, or in the community. A child should know how to take care of his belongings. Parents have to learn when to stop doing too much for their child.
If you want to help them focus on their responsibilities, then give them regular duties in order to improve their self-esteem and self-reliance.
What You Are Supposed To Do
For your child to imitate what you are doing, you should be a good role model by setting examples like clearing the table after a meal, putting clothes on the cupboard after undressing, covering food after cooking and by doing so many other things which can teach children about responsibility.
Choose Age Appropriate Tasks
A child who is 5 years old has attained the age which they do not even need their parents’ assistance for doing many things. They are curious to learn more and feel that they are also able to take over major responsibilities like their parents do. At this age, you will be able to give your 5 year old duties for example like feeding pets like dogs, cats, birds, etc., washing them and so many others. When a child has daily chores then it becomes easier as it becomes part of his routine.
Teach Children Things Which Are Important
During the early years of your child, teach him /her to work first before play. If you do that you will make her more responsible and able to accomplish school work or home chores better.
Make a Job As If It Is a Game
If you want your child to help you perform a task, challenge her as if you are doing a competition in order to see who will be the winner at end. When you do that she will speed up helping you to become the winner. This is common in children all over the world. You need to know how to motivate them and how to talk to them. Children like a challenge and making “work” more like a game encourages them to do their chores faster. After awhile, they will realize these small chores are not really that difficult and that by doing their share of the work it helps the whole family.
Positive comments like praising a child for work well done goes a long way. When a child feels what he does is valued by his parents this helps him feel good about himself and encourages him to try hard the next time he has a chore to do. One of the first responsibilities kids learn is getting dress and tying shoe laces. All the little princesses in our lives have to learn this difficult skill.
Parents should approach kids about being responsible with a positive attitude instead of being negative. Scolding a child will discourage him. Praise will go a long way and have much better results.
About the Author
Stacy Eva wrote one article for KidCompanions Special Needs Blog.
Stacy Eva lives in Birmingham, UK and is an avid reader and blogger. Since her early years she had a passion for writing. Her articles have been published in leading UK newspapers. Her areas of interest are Health Living, Lifestyle, and Child Health care. She works for ehic as a freelance content manager.