Growing Great Families – Being A Parent Doesn’t Mean Being a Martyr
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A print advertisement for a luxury minivan was titled, “Being a parent doesn’t mean being a martyr.” The implication is that if you do have to drive an un-cool minivan for the sake of the kids at least you can tart it up. A bumper sticker on a passing vehicle stated, “I have no life my daughter plays AAU Basketball.” Again, the message is to equate involved supportive parenting with martyrdom. In general, parents today are highly supportive of their children. There is nothing wrong with that as long as parents don’t lose sight of limits and consequences. As often occurs, parents need to keep in mind that our greatest weakness is often an over extension of our greatest strength. The question we will address is, “Have parents gone too far by defining support as sacrificing their own needs and always putting their children first?” In other words, has the notion of support gotten so out of hand that being a parent means being a martyr and if had has, what can a family do about it? We also explore the downsides for the kids when their parents, by their behavior, choose to be over involved in their kid’s lives. Although the kids might enjoy it in the short run, studies suggesting an increase in young adult depression might be a result of over parenting and not giving kids a chance to learn from their mistakes and bumps in the road. Over parenting can include too many scheduled activities and not giving young children the opportunity to learn and explore at a healthier and relaxed pace. We close with our segment “There’s Got To Be a Better Way” – where we share a personal story and what we learned as parents from the experience.