How much do I allow my child to do?

One problem I have encountered along the way working with families is the 'helicopter' parenting that seems to be quite common. It seems that a lot of families do most things for their children like: serving and clearing up, carry them or their bags, clean their rooms, make their beds, help them put on their clothes, shower them etc. The list is long.

The question is what are we achieving by doing these things? How do we actually help our kids in a better way? What is the impact on them?

It all comes back to self-esteem and confidence. If we allow or push our kids to help with chores, take responsibility for their school work, learn to make their beds, clean themselves and generally be made to be part of the family team, they will grow. Grow in their ability to take responsibility for their own decisions, feel confident that they are able and if not able, learn that asking for help is also OK. They also learn to stand up for themselves and understand common decency, what is right and wrong. The freedom to go to the newsagent to buy something or walk down the road to a friend on their own is an immense uplifting feeling for our kids. They have to learn to become independent. Small steps at a time!

It's very easy to take over as most times, it's quicker to do it ourselves. However, if we think about it, there are lots of opportunities to allow the kids the chance to 'help' and allow them to do certain things their way. To let it go is a challenge at times but the effect on the kids in long term is worth it. We all want independent, confident and caring children. Self-esteem is something we need to help our children to get and keep. These steps are a few that will help to achieve this.