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Home / Articles / Happy Herald / From the Editor /   One Way to Let Go of Hyper-Parenting and Learn to Relax With Your Kids
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Wednesday, May 4,2022

One Way to Let Go of Hyper-Parenting and Learn to Relax With Your Kids

By Brigitte Lang  
“If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.”

– C.G. Jung

If you’re a hyper-parent, you might not even know it – parents tend to be in denial about that sort of thing. But if you are, you might want to learn to relax – for your kids’ sake, and for yours. Hyper-parents are spotted when they are trying to educate their child from the womb, and expose them to the most intellectually stimulating music and art and literature before the kid can crawl.

They obsess over everything, from whether the child is learning fast enough, to how safe every single thing is, to every little scrape and bruise. They are overprotective, overbearing, overwhelming to the child.

For those of you who are hyper-parents and will admit it, if only to yourselves, I’d like to share some things in hopes it’ll help. Be forewarned some of these suggestions take a very different approach to parenting than the traditional methods – I’m not suggesting everyone follow them, especially if you’re not willing to break with traditions. What I am suggesting is these methods might help you relax, help your child feel freer and less controlled and more able to explore and learn on their own, and could possibly result in a better relationship and a happier child overall.

1. When you get angry, pick them up and hug them. Instead of scolding or spanking or time outs or other controlling methods, try love. It’s a much better response, and you’re teaching your child through your actions rather than your words.

2. Make this your mantra: treat them with kindness, treat them with respect. Seems simple, but its surprising how little respect we give to kids because they’re kids.

3. Drop your expectations of the child. Often parents have high hopes of the child doing well academically, or in sports, or of becoming a professional, when that’s not what the child wants. Or the parent hopes the child will be a certain type of person, and tries to steer the child toward that – a mild, kind child, or a bright, cheerful child, or a studious, hard working child – but that’s not who the child is. Drop these expectations and celebrate the child, as they are.

4. Let them play, let them explore, stop being so overprotective. Allow the kid to be a kid. Let them run around outside, ride a bike, explore nature, play with fire. Teach them, of course, about safety and dangers, but let them be a kid.

5. Say yes, or some version of yes, instead of saying no. Often parents have an instinct to say no. But this is controlling and stressful, to both child and parent. Stop trying to control the child, and give them some freedom. That doesn’t mean you can say yes all the time, because you have needs too, but it does mean you can say “Yes, we can do that… but perhaps later, when I’m done with what I have to do now.”

6. Parents try to impart all kinds of knowledge on kids. So do schools. But kids learn naturally, without us. Get out of the way; stop trying to force the kid to learn what you think they need to learn. Encourage them to explore, and read, and figure stuff out. Get them excited about things. When they’re excited about something, they’ll learn. When you force it, they’ll do what is forced, but not learn much other than that.

7. Just focus on making the next interaction with them positive. Many of these changes are difficult to make for parents, as we have deeply ingrained habits, stemming from our own childhood. So just focus on the next interaction. Just try to make the next one a good one. Don’t worry about when you screw up – just apologize if you’ve broken a trust, and move on.

8. If the kid is “acting up,” try to figure out why, and meet that need. Often it’s a need for freedom, or attention, or love, or to be in control of their own life. Figure out what that need is, and find a more productive way to meet it.

And now, relax. Enjoy every moment with your child, because there are too few. Cherish this time and make every moment a good one. You’ll never regret those moments of happiness, those moments when you said yes, when you let your child play, when you stopped controlling and started loving.

 

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