Effects of Helicopter Parenting

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Helicopter parents can be identified by their tendency to hover close to their child, ready to come to the rescue at the first sign of difficulty or disappointment. They treat their school/college-age children to the same full-service parenting they have implemented since birth: they feed them, do laundry, drive them to classes, arrange for utilities to be turned on and off… It is not uncommon for helicopter parents to contact teachers about their child’s exams or insist that a test be re-graded.

Listed are some adverse effects it has on the children:

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Low self-esteem and confidence: Helicopter parenting usually backfires on both children and their parents. In fact, it can destroy the basic concept of family culture. Parents, with their parenting style, send an invisible and indirect signal saying that “I don’t trust you, so let’s do thing my way.” Over insistence on controlling a child’s mind will eventually result in the development of low esteem and confidence.

Failure to manage with crisis and emergencies: Children, who are managed under a helicopter parenting style, are more likely to develop low coping skills that required managing emergencies, anger, frustration, disappointment, failure and crisis. If parents keep managing their children’s affairs, how do they expect them to become independent and self-sufficient?  Studies show us that children who are nurtured under helicopter parenting style are more likely to face serious problems in life.

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Enhanced anxiety and panic state: The results of helicopter parenting can lead to anxiety, fear, panic syndrome, and depression and isolation tendencies in the kids, as a child and as an adult.

A deep sense of entitlement and rebel tendencies: Helicopter parented children are more likely to develop a sense of entitlement which leads to them having their own way or feel suffocated. This can lead to either incompetence in life or turn them into rebels.

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Helicopter parenting, by all means, signifies a negative type of parenting where the children in question might lose their personal identity altogether. Several negative consequences surround this parenting style. Parents should check themselves from over bearing and over protecting their kids, not for themselves, but for the sake of their children so that they can lead a normal life as a child and as an adult.

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Rinkkini D

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Are You a Helicopter Parent?

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Helicopter parents: It’s the name given to the obsessively protective parents who “hover” around their kids. Of course, those kids end up becoming helpless teenagers and adults who always look for mommy to swoop in and save the day. Check out some of the most obvious signs.

  1. Your child’s teachers see you coming and instead of greeting you with “Hi,” they groan and whisper, “Oh God! Not her!”
  2. You still hand/spoon feed your child he/she is over 6 years old.
  3. You have the principal on speed dial and keep a list of things to tell him/her “next time.”
  4. When your daughter got her “pen permit” from the school for learning cursive, you took it away because someone might lose an eye with that thing!
  5. You’ve complete your kid’s school projects. COMPLETE, not helped (yes, there is a difference).
  6. You bought your 10-year-old a smart-phone so that he/she can text you when the bus gets to let you know he/she reached school “safely”.overprotective
  7. You are horrified when someone suggests your 10-year-old put his/her own plate in the sink.
  8. Your child has NEVER lost a game while playing with you.
  9. Your kid’s friends don’t like to come over for play dates because they don’t want to have to play with YOU.
  10. You hired a Spanish (or some foreign language) tutor- for your preschooler!
  11. Your kids don’t eat at birthday parties because there are GERMS there and YOU haven’t checked the food…
  12. You say your kid has never eaten dirt or licked the wall or picked up food from the floor and eaten it (and you actually believe yourself).

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If you said yes to less than 6 of these, then well done! You are a chilled out parent and let your child breath!

If you said yes to more 6 but less than 9, then you need to loosen up a little bit.

And if you said yes to more than 9…! PLEASE give your child some space and freedom! You are SMOTHERING him/her! Poor kid is more afraid of you than the strictest of the teacher!

Micromanaging your child is never a bright idea. Let them explore the world, let them make mistakes. It’s ok. This is how they learn.

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Rinkkini D

‘Oldies but Goldies’: A List of Must Read Classic Books for 7-10 Years Olds

These books might be old, written decades, even centuries ago, but these classics will never be outdated. After all the era might change, but the spirit of childhood, and the power of imagination of children will always remain the same. Here is a list of 10 ‘must reads’ i enjoyed as a child, and have already replaced my tattered copies with new ones, waiting eagerly for my toddler to grow up and share the euphoria I felt as a child (well, still feel when I re-read them).

P.S.: Famous Five is a 21 book series and Secret Seven is a 15 book series. But I could not not include them in this list as they were the books which I would read secretly, hidden under a quilt on late wintery nights way past my bedtime. I have grown up, but the feelings have lingered on, stuck to these books as I read them again…

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Rinkkini D

Classic Fairy-tales List for 2-6 Year Olds

Before Walt Disney started making their rendition of the classic fairy tales (Dreamworks and Pixar joined the fad later), there existed a wonderful world, a world which triggered a child’s imagination, gave them moral lessons and whisked them off to another world; a boundless world within the confines of pages- a world of books. Yes, for centuries children across the world grew up reading fairy tales or listening to them from their parents or grandparents.

Once upon a time, long long ago in the 1700’s, there lived two German scholar brothers. They wrote a collection of stories for kids. This collection was called ‘The Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales.’ Most of these stories had a moral but with gruesome ending to emphasize the message. But they were wonderful tales. At some point in future, not too late, the British translated these stories to a little less scary version and published them. Since then, several versions of these fairy tales have existed, but the core story remains the same till date. There are even illustrated versions of these stories available (even today) in single book form or as a collection of various fairy tales, for the little toddlers to enjoy.

Here is a list of some of the absolute classics which I grew up reading (and eventually the original version translated into English). This list has been previewed by my 3 year old daughter. This is a list of stories she loves listening to and retelling while pointing at the illustration. So, I’m sure kids of her age will like them too. These are pictures of some of the old book covers with the names.

P.S.: These are not the Disney versions.

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Rinkkini D

Boost Your Child’s Confidence- Children Have Low Self Esteem Too: Part 3 (Conclusion)

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One of the easiest ways to detect low self-esteem in children is by observing their feelings.  Negative feelings are often caused by blame games and criticism by parents and teachers, which results in self blame and self criticism by the child himself/herself in turn. Usually this leads to moodiness and grumpiness. Recurring negative feelings eventually leads to poor self-image in a child.  Children or even us as parents may not believe that kids have control over their feelings, but they do.  When a child experiences a challenging or upsetting situation, he/she has the power to choose how they feel about what has happened. This aids in self motivation and learning and gives them a sense of positivity. Although we cannot always control what happens to us, we can absolutely control how we respond to what happens, and this is a vital skill which we as parents can pass along to our kids and help them learn how to cope with a situation instead if self doubting .

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Here are some examples of statements/questions that we can use with our children when faced with a difficult situation:

“Even though _____ happened to you, mommy/daddy loves you because you are a good person.”

“Just because _____ happened, it doesn’t take away all of the things that makes you who you are.”

“How would you like to feel?  What can we do to help you feel that way?”

“No matter what happens, you’re still our little boy/girl who is good, kind, confident, brave…”

“There is something we can all learn from every incident/situation, so that we don’t repeat our mistakes in future. Can tell us what did you learn from what happened?”

Such questions/ conversations/ statements can help shift a child’s negative feelings into a more positive one. Establishing our (parents’) confidence in our children helps them to realize and feel good no matter what the situation is.  Asking a child to identify how he/she feels about a situation, what he/she would like to feel and what was the lesson learnt from it, helps them learn to face problems and solve them effectively. They learn to deal with adverse times/situations boldly and bravely with a positive attitude instead of pretending it didn’t happen or just sweeping it under a rug and repressing the memory.

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Children are very impressionable. We as parents have to consciously assist our kids to learn the ropes of life early and show them the way to overcome difficult circumstances instead of shielding them or blaming them or even others for the repercussions. They will not only grow up to be confident, positive adults, but as a child they will be never face low self esteem or feel belittled.

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Rinkkini D

Part 1

Part 2

Children Can Have Low Self Esteem Too: Part 2

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In last week’s post, we shared some tips and ideas to help identify that negative self-talk is something that some children engage in regularly. This can be an indicator of low self-esteem, but there are ways where we as parents can support our child in shifting from negative to positive self-talk.

This week, we are going to take a look at another sign of low self-esteem in children by observing their interactions with others. This can be a tricky one, because children go through all kinds of phases; sometimes they’re more outgoing, other times they may be more on the shy and reserved side. Shy kids should not be mistaken to have low self-esteem.  Some children prefer to observe and take in their new surroundings before jumping right in, which is perfectly fine. There are however, some behaviors that children demonstrate when they’re around others that might point towards low self-esteem. Here are some of them:

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  • Going along with what peer say/do, without sharing his/her own thoughts or ideas

Children want to fit in within their social circle, which is normal and expected. Concern should be raised when children agree to pretty much everything their friends want to do without questioning it or offering their own ideas.  Over time, the child begins to seek approval from the peer group before looking within him/her self first and making decisions that others approve of.  As a parent, we can encourage our kids to think for themselves by involving them in decision-making as part of the family. Simple things, like, suggesting an idea for dinner or what to do on the weekend, etc. etc.  Supporting them and guiding them through the pros and cons of the choices they make.   The idea here is to foster independent thinking and decision making that can transfer over into a child’s circle beyond the family.

  • Blaming and criticizing behaviors

Some children believe that there’s something wrong with them if they have made a mistake or a poor choice, so it just feels better to place the blame on someone else for what has happened.  Putting others down or finding flaws in what other children do may also be another way that children with low self-esteem shift attention away from themselves and onto others.  It’s not always easy to see our limitations and admit our short-comings, but when we teach our children that it’s OK to make mistakes, and that bumps in the road are a natural part of life, they learn to see themselves and others with a greater level of compassion.buddphones-volume-limiting-headphones-kids-cool-mom-tech

  • Playing the Comparison Game

We all compare ourselves to others at some point, and children are no exception. Comparing skills, clothing, toys or even grades; children can always find something to compare with others.  Most of the time a child wants a toy or something else because his/her friend has it.  There’s nothing wrong with children noticing what others have and perhaps even wanting to have the same thing too.  The problem is when they feel inferior for not having what someone else has, and they don’t feel as though they are good just as they are.  Creating a culture of appreciation at home is a great way to help a child recognize all that they are already blessed to have.  Reminding a child of how unique each person is can be another wonderful way to instill the idea that we all cannot have, be and do the same things as everyone else, because we are all different, and different is good.

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Learning how to FEEL GOOD around peers is very important for children, since their peer group becomes center of their life as they grow older.  When children feel good about themselves, they’ll feel good around others, and their relationship with their friends strengthens in a positive ways. Inculcating self assurance and self love will teach our children to take pride in their own achievements, be happy with what they are and have and in turn spread joy around them too.

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Rinkkini D

Part 1

Children Can have Low Self-Esteem Too Part-1

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No parent wants to know that their child feels bad about themselves or suffers with low self-esteem.  As a parent, it’s natural for us to feel responsible when our child seems to be struggling or having a really hard time feeling good about him/herself.  We may find ourselves doing whatever we can to ensure that our child is happy, successful and experiences a sense of belonging. However, it’s even more powerful to provide them with the tools he/she needs to develop and maintain healthy self-esteem over time.
Self-esteem is all about how someone feels about themselves.  Simply put, people who have high self-esteem feel good about themselves, while those with low self-esteem feel inadequate, as if they are not good enough. As shocking as it may seem, this applies to children as well.

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Low self-esteem may begin when a child has had an experience that’s made them doubt themselves or their abilities, or perhaps someone said or did something (intentional or not) that led the child to believe that they are not worthy, like getting reprimanded at every little mistake, or getting a smack, or beating from parents or teacher. Over time, the child not only believes that he/she is flawed, unlovable or “not enough”, but the child begins to prove this to him/herself over and over again when faced with new situations or experiences, like a self fulfilling prophecy.  This creates a vicious cycle that cements this low self-esteem into the child’s conscious and hence creating negative impact on many areas of the child’s life.  It can affect friendships, academics and overall motivation.  As a parent, we have the perfect opportunity, and it is our duty to support our child in developing a high level of self-esteem, and teach them to love themselves and be proud of what they do, each and every day.

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One of the indicators of low self-esteem in children is negative self talk.  Negative self-talk can be picked up in everyday simple conversations. Like when a child says things like, “I can’t,” “I don’t know how,” “It’s too hard,” “No one likes me,” “I’m not good at anything” and other such similar self derogatory phrases, then it is a sign that he/she might be experiencing low self-esteem.  A child may feel that he/she doesn’t have any control over their thoughts or the words they speak. But, we as parents can teach them that, yes, in fact, they do have control of their thoughts and words. This can be a powerful lesson, as he/she learns how to shift from negative process to a more positive way of thinking and speaking.  Demonstrate for your child how to begin using positive phrases such as:

“I can…”
“I know how to…”
“I’m really good at…”
“I can do this”
“I choose to…”

When a child engages in negative self-talk, encouraging him/her to use positive self-talk instead will improve the way he/she feels about the situation.  Help your child to see the good in a situation and to focus on what is working, the positive aspect as opposed to what isn’t working, the negative aspect.  Pin up some of these positive phrases around your home as visual reminders to point thoughts and words in a more powerful direction.

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Rinkkini D

10 Reasons NOT to Hit Your Child

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In several countries around the world, it is illegal for a parent, teacher, or anyone else to spank a child, and 113 countries prohibit corporal (physical) punishment in schools. Yet in most of these countries and in India, physical punishment by a parent, as long as it is not severe, is still seen by many as necessary discipline, and condoned, or sadly, even encouraged.

For the past several years, many psychiatrists, sociological researchers have recommended ban of physical punishment of children. The most important reason, according to Dr. Peter Newell, coordinator of the organization End Punishment of Children (EPOCH), is that “all people have the right to protection of their physical integrity, and children are people too.”

  1. Hitting children teaches them to become hitters themselves. Extensive research data shows that there is a direct correlation between corporal punishment in childhood and aggressive or violent behavior in the teenage and adult years. Virtually all of the most dangerous criminals were regularly threatened and punished in childhood. (I’m not saying your child will grow up to be a criminal!) It is natural that children learn attitudes and behaviors through observation and imitation of their parents’ actions, for good or bad. Thus it is the responsibility of parents to set an example of empathy and wisdom.bullying_1
  2. In many cases of so-called bad behavior, the child is simply responding to neglect of basic needs. Among these needs are: proper sleep and nutrition, treatment of hidden allergy, fresh air, exercise, and sufficient freedom to explore the world around him. But his greatest need is for his parents’ undivided attention. In today’s busy times, few children receive sufficient time and attention from their parents, who are often too distracted by their own problems and worries to treat their children with patience and empathy. It is surely wrong and unfair to punish a child for responding in a natural way to having important needs neglected. Therefore, punishment, for what-so-ever reason, is not only ineffective in the long run, it is also clearly unjust.
  3. Punishment distracts the child from learning how to resolve conflict in an effective and humane way. According to educator John Holt, “When we make a child afraid, we stop learning dead in its tracks.” A punished child becomes preoccupied with feelings of anger and fantasies of revenge, and is thus deprived of the opportunity to learn more effective methods of solving the problems at hand. Thus, a punished child learns little about how to handle or prevent similar situations in the future.teen-vs-parent
  4. Punishment interferes with the bond between parent and child, as it is not human nature to feel loving toward someone who hurts us. The true spirit of cooperation which every parent desires can arise only through a strong bond based on mutual feelings of love and respect. Punishment, even when it does appear to work, can produce only a limited and/or forced good behavior based on fear, which can only take place until the child is old enough to resist. In contrast, cooperation based on respect will last permanently, the child does not grow up despising the parents, instead love them unconditionally.
  5. Many parents, who were physically punished in their childhood, never learnt that there are positive ways of relating to children. When punishment does not accomplish the desired goals, and if the parent is unaware of alternative methods, punishment can escalate to more frequent and dangerous actions against the child.
  6. Anger and frustration which cannot be safely expressed by a child become stored inside; angry teenagers are not made in one hormone spur. Anger that has been accumulating for many years can come as a shock to parents whose child now feels strong enough to express this rage. Punishment may appear to produce so called good behavior in the early years, but always at a high price, paid by parents and by society as the child enters adolescence and early adulthood.jrabk1
  7. Spanking on the buttocks, an erogenous zone in childhood, can create in the child’s mind an association between pain and sexual pleasure, and lead to difficulties in adulthood. If a child receives little parental attention except when being punished, this will further merge the concepts of pain and pleasure in the child’s mind. A child in this situation will have little self-esteem; believe that he/she deserves nothing better.
  8. Even relatively moderate spanking can be physically dangerous. Blows to the lower end of the spinal column send shock waves along the length of the spine, and may injure the child. The prevalence of lower back pain among adults in our society may well have its origins in childhood punishment. Some children have become paralyzed through nerve damage from spanking, and some have died after mild paddling, due to undiagnosed medical complications.
  9. Physical punishment gives the dangerous and unfair message that it is permissible to hurt someone else, provided they are smaller and less powerful than you are. The child then concludes that it is permissible to mistreat younger or smaller children. When he/she becomes an adult, he/she can feel little compassion for those less fortunate than he/she is, and fears those who are more powerful.7787614a5763839fa928033cb87619f9
  10. Because children learn through parental modeling, physical punishment gives the message that hitting is an appropriate way to express feelings and to solve problems. If a child does not observe a parent solving problems in a creative and humane way, it can be difficult for him/her to learn to do this himself/herself. For this reason, unskilled parenting often continues into the next generation.

Gentle instruction, supported by a strong foundation of love and respect, is the only truly effective way to bring about commendable behavior based on strong inner values, instead of superficially good behavior based only on fear.

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Rinkkini D