Overprotecting Children

By Wanda Parker

THE TEMPTATION TO CREATE A PSEUDO-WORLD FOR CHILDREN

If we create a pseudo-world for them until they are teenagers, how will they ever know how to deal with feelings; how will they know how to reason; how will they be able to survive in the real world? (A child who has grown up in a pseudo environment will have many similarities as an adult to a child who grew up in a highly dysfunctional environment.  Dysfunctional here means abusive, lack of boundaries, an environment where there is poverty of the soul.)

In a pseudo-world, children aren’t given all the information they need to be a successful adult.  The key to healthy growth is the ability to do critical thinking.  Critical thinking is a learned skill. It allows a person to go beyond the facts and emotions perceived as reality today to look out to the future at the results if this “path” is continued to be followed.  It is impossible for a child to learn critical thinking in the pseudo-world because they don’t have all the information necessary to do so.

A psychologist friend of mine told me the following story:

He had a patient who was in her twenties and dealt with constant fear that she was going to hell.  We will call her Mary.  Mary had been told often by family friends, relatives and people at church that her father was a very godly man.  She idolized her father.  However, Mary had never seen her father angry.  So now in her twenties, every time she felt anger she thought she must not be a Christian.

Her father was a godly man but he did not have the wisdom to understand that his daughter needed to see that he was human.  To become a fully developed adult, she needed more information.  Mary needed to see that her dad too got angry and that he processed his anger in an appropriate way.  He needed to be vulnerable with his daughter so that she could learn from him.

This father so wanted to protect his child from the distress of seeing his anger that in doing so he did her much harm.

We must continually ask ourselves, “How will this ultimately affect the child?” In asking this question, we must be honest with ourselves and make sure our emotions are not causing us to have faulty reasoning.

From the time my own children were infants, I have prayed asking the Lord to teach me how to raise my children up to be godly adults.  I felt totally inadequate but the Lord found varying means to teach me.

This is an excerpt from the KidTrek White Paper, “Competition – A Tool for Emotional Growth.” Click here to read the entire paper.

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One response to “Overprotecting Children

  1. Pingback: A Stumbling Block - Over protection leads to NO HOPE « Why Missionaries to America?

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