All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.
-Peanuts character, Lucy
Lucy is correct when she says it is okay to overindulge once in a while. For instance, during the holidays we may tend to “overdo” with our children. But a steady diet of this excess can create a sense of entitlement and affect their ability to learn many of the important life skills they need to thrive as adults. What’s the difference between overindulgence and healthy, nurturing parenting?
- inundating children with material things or experiences
- doing things for your children that they could do for themselves.
- not holding your children accountable for their behavior.
- encouraging your children to be actively engaged in productive activities
- not over-protecting by rescuing them from their responsibilities or by making excuses for them.
- spending time with your children more than spending money on them.
- actively listening to their wants.
- teaching them to distinguish between wants and needs.
- holding your children accountable for their behavior.
- helping your child to become an educated and critical consumer.
Healthy doses of structure, limits, and expectations lead to self-reliance, high self-esteem, and a healthy relationship between parents and children (and a little chocolate every once in a while doesn’t hurt either).by Claire Gawinowicz Certified Parenting Educator