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'Don't spoil your child'

Published:Saturday | June 13, 2015 | 12:00 AM
The 1950's and 60's prescribed that every facet of a child's life should be governed by his/her parents or guardian.

Psychologist Dr Orlean Brown-Earle has cautioned parents against spoiling their children.

"If you overdo something, you can only cause harm," Brown-Earle told Family and Religion.

While it is natural to love your child and give them a sense of security, parents must be careful they are not overindulging in the loving department, so much so that they stand in danger of losing control over the child, she warned.

Among the signs that parents have crossed that line, according to Brown-Earle, is children no longer respecting their commands or guidance.

Other manifestations of 'overloving' is parents failing to allow their children to do things for themselves, being terrified at the thought of their children being angry or upset with them, so no boundaries are set.

 

DON'T CONSTANTLY REBUKE

 

Brown-Earle cautioned, though, that rebuking constantly is incorrect.

"An individual who does so needs professional help."

Although some parents manage to punish their child, they are stuck with the feeling of guilt.

"Parents should ensure that they do what is right so that they do not feel anxiety over actions they did. Punishment should be a last resort and does not have to involve physical harm."

Some parents who grew up being denied basic things in life sometimes make up for this by overcompensating with their children. They find it hard to tell that child no to whatever demands they make.

"When someone says no to a child, they should explain why. Details are not always needed, but a simple explanation shows respect," said the psychologist.

When it comes to chores around the house, many parents fall into the trap of doing the work themselves - even after it has been assigned to the children.

Brown-Earle said each action should have a responsibility feature attached.

"So if the child does not wash the dishes, the child will not be allowed to go to the concert," she said.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com