I would like to start with a famous Tamil quote “alavukku minjiinal amirthamum nanju.” It means that even good things becomes poisonous if it goes beyond limits. So does over parenting.
We have all evolved with time and circumstances in case of parenting too. What was once given to a dozen children in a family: food, clothing, books, toys, emotions, love, attention, affection, and so on, we now tend to give to one child, two children, or maximum of three children. And to the irony of the children, they too have to single handedly give an output of a dozen kids. Imagine the level of suffocation. The output, however, is, we have obese kids, stressed children, bored childhood and the like. Can anyone of us remember expressing boredom at any point of time till our school days?
The other major factor for over parenting is science and technology. They were meant to ease our lives but we have instead complicated our lives and our children’s lives. We have air conditioned our living so much that we have forgotten our basic natural instinct. A day without power at our house is sufficient proof to let us know how we and our children have failed to live in a natural habitat.
When our parents left us at school or any place outside, they never had a clue about our whereabouts till we returned home. But they remained confident that we will come back safely. It was the same even in cases of long duration and far away stays like our grandparents houses. Now with GPS, child trackers, minute by minute updates via phone or cameras, we remain insecure, and we are subconsciously passing on that dangerous insecure feeling to our children.
All of the above seems scary when thought up as a whole. But “moderation” in all aspects of our lives will automatically solve over parenting or any problem of parenting. Children grow, not by following our teaching, but by following us. So if we want our child to be confident, mature, loving, or whatever, we need to be a role model rather than a teacher. Simple lifestyle in our homes, in spite of our Providence, is definitely the way forward and the best option to avoid over parenting.
For example, we could buy our child a bicycle (without gear) than dropping them or getting them dropped in expensive cars or arrange for home pick up and drops. It does not mean we potray that we are poor or stingy or do not belong to a ‘class’ or even providing safety. It just means we are mature. A cycle is not only healthy and safe. It is a natural stabilizer for the child’s emotions. We can actually go on with the positivity of this simple action. Similarly, other examples could be dresses; only for major festivities, toys and child amenities; that could be passed on for generations, not excesses to be donated. Outdoor plays rather than Playstations. Home cooked simple food as staple diet. The list could go on. But simplicity is the only option we have in hand if we want to be a responsible parent or to avoid over parenting.
Many of us will be wondering if simplicity is possible in our current circumstances or situations. Or worst case, what is simplicity. I can vouch that it is possible from my personal experience. My husband and me are following such a life with our three children and are feeling awesome. We do earn good, we are living in one of the cosmopolitan city, we are surrounded by the same media frenzy arena and consumerism, worst, surrounded by advices by non-avoidable, right-to-our children, relatives. But still, we have chosen a simple lifestyle, so that our entire family stays healthy and strong both bodily and emotionally.
Over parenting is not an issue, rather a chosen lifestyle. Let us choose wisely.
Thank you for your patience in reading this. The write-up is meant to be more for spreading our happiness.
This post is written By Kavitha Lawrence who says -I am a simple and happy mom right now. Loving and living – thanks to my kiddos!!!