5 Things Parents Need to STOP Doing FOR Their Kids

Believe it or not, a lot of parents are doing things for their kids that they really shouldn’t be doing.  

Things that are hurting, rather than helping them for life. And things that are robbing them of future potential that they will one day need. Here are 5 of those things:

  1. Cleaning up after them… Let’s be honest and admit that kids as early as a few years old can begin being taught to pick up after themselves.  There is nothing wrong and everything right with parents expecting their kids to help clean up after meals, fold or put away laundry, and keep their room clean.  Some parents simply need to STOP – stop cleaning up after your kids while they sit on the couch and watch or play; stop stealing from them life skills that they are going to need for the rest of their lives, simply because it’s easier to just “do it yourself.”
  2. Paying for everything. Yes, as parents, we have a lot to pay for, and rightly so, but what extra things can you allow your children to earn or work for?  While kids should not have to pay for their own food, housing, or even things like braces or medical expenses, they can pay for their own name brand clothes, video games, extra niceties, and things that are not needs.  As parents, determine age-appropriately what these things are that you should pay for, and what things they should pay for.  And yes, this requires them to be earning and/or saving money in order to pay for these things. Because one of the easiest ways to raise entitled children is to provide them with everything they want at no personal cost to them.
  3. Fighting all their battles.  Our kids need our wisdom and experience to help them know how to fight their battles, but they don’t need us to be the hero and fight them all for them. If we always come to their rescue, how will they ever learn how to handle life in the “real world” someday?  Childhood is the boot camp for life. That means there are going to be some struggles and battles that our kids have to face, and need to face, and that is a good thing.  Because those struggles will only make them stronger if we allow them to learn from them, but weaker if we don’t.
  4. Making excuses for them.  Our kids will mess up.  They will forget things.  They will hurt others.  They will disobey the rules.  And when they do, one of the best things that a parent can do is allow them to take responsibility for their actions.  Mom and Dad, no matter how hard it seems to let your children fall or fail, it is an important part of their development of good character.  Don’t be that parent who always has an excuse ready to whip out of their back pocket for their child in every situation.  Love your child by letting them face reality.  Don’t hinder your child by making excuses for them.
  5. Owning their beliefs. As parents, it’s our job to train our children to believe the right things.  So give them expectations and requirements… but also allow them to make choices on their own and ask tough questions.  Why?  So that your beliefs can become personal to them and ultimately become their own. Otherwise, they can simply mirror your beliefs until they are 18 and then easily abandon them forever. (We see it happen all the time, don’t we?)  Because all along, they were yours, not theirs.  Help your children to own their own beliefs.

Which of these 5 things are you most guilty of that you need to STOP doing FOR your kids? (probably #1 for me) Or, what things would you add to this list?  I’d love to hear them.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • My wife and I are probably a little guilty at all of these, but not too terrible guilty at any one of them. The rule is to have the kids put one toy or game away before taking out another. We don’t always stick to it, but it is the goal. We also started giving them an allowance (or “commission” as Dave Ramsey puts it) at age 6 and they pay for special things they want.

    Kids do need to fail now so they know how to bounce back later. Failure is part of life. The earlier we learn to respond to failure with action and new knowledge learned the better off we are.

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