Parenting Tips: Instead of Fixing Things for Your Kids or Giving Advice…

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Some parenting tips are harder to implement than others.

Do you ever offer your kids unsolicited advice or jump right in to help them solve their problems? Yeah, me too. Breaking the habit of fixing things for your kids is hard, especially if it was how you were raised.

But, as kids age, it’s more important than ever to break this habit.

My kids want to be heard and supported by me. They DO NOT want me to get involved, give advice (unless they ask for it) or try to fix things. When I try to fix things, it robs them of the opportunity to learn to fix things themselves. And, not surprisingly, tweens and teens find it highly annoying.

“When I tell my parents about my day, the only thing I want them to say back to me is, ‘That stinks.’”

Ann Dunnewold, Ph. D., a licensed psychologist and author of Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box, says the helicopter parenting definition is simply “over-parenting.” “It means being involved in a child’s life in a way that is overcontrolling, overprotecting, and overperfecting, in a way that is in excess of responsible parenting,” Dr. Dunnewold explains.

Parenting Tips: Instead of Fixing Things or Giving Advice…

If you have a habit of offering your kids unsolicited advice or jumping in to help them fix their problems, try these steps instead:

  1. Stop
  2. Simply Listen
  3. Empathize and Ask: How do you feel about this? How do you think you should handle this? How can I support you?

And remember to go easy on yourself! Habits are hard to break and sometimes it might make sense to get more involved if your child truly needs help navigating a certain situation. Otherwise, begin to see problems as an opportunity for your child to develop problem-solving skills and to build confidence too.

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Published by Jessica Speer, Author

Author and Advocate for Kids and Families

4 thoughts on “Parenting Tips: Instead of Fixing Things for Your Kids or Giving Advice…

  1. Not giving advice is soooo hard! But having three questions to ask instead of barging in may give me a way to hold my tongue, while still feeling like I’m helping. Thanks, Jessica!

  2. It is so hard and our intentions are truly to be helpful. I’ve noticed my kids are reluctant to share when I jump into advice mode, so I’m doubling down on breaking this habit. But is really hard!

Please share! I welcome your thougths and comments.

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