Eggshell Parenting

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Eggshell Parenting: Walking on Eggshells Around Our Kids

Parenting today seems harder than ever before. We want the very best for our children, yet the path to helping them grow into happy, healthy, independent adults isn’t always clear. One troubling trend is “eggshell parenting,” where parents become overly cautious and sensitive about their kids’ feelings and go to great lengths to shield them from discomfort or distress.

While protecting our children is a natural instinct, eggshell parenting can be detrimental to their development. Children need to experience struggles and setbacks to build resilience. They need to learn how to cope with frustration and disappointment. If we swoop in at the first sign of difficulty to fix problems for them or make their lives easier, we rob them of these learning opportunities.

Eggshell parents may hesitate to discipline their kids or enforce reasonable rules and boundaries. They worry that their child will feel upset or angry, so they avoid doing anything that might elicit those emotions. But children crave structure and guidance. Lack of rules or consequences for misbehavior won’t make a child happy in the long run.
Eggshell parents also tend to praise their children excessively to boost their self-esteem. While praise is important, if it’s not balanced and honest, it won’t help a child develop an accurate sense of their own abilities and limitations. Children need to experience failure and imperfection to build a healthy self-image.

The truth is, our kids will face difficulties, frustrations, and disappointments in life whether we want them to or not. Our job as parents is not to shield them from uncomfortable feelings but to help them develop coping skills so they can work through those feelings in a constructive way. Some tips for overcoming eggshell parenting include:

•Set reasonable rules and boundaries and enforce appropriate consequences when those rules are broken. Don’t be afraid of your child’s anger or disappointment.
•Allow your child to struggle at times. Don’t fix every problem or do things for them they can do themselves. Help them work through challenges rather than removing obstacles from their path.

•Offer honest praise and feedback. Praise your child for their efforts and accomplishments, not just for who they are. Be specific in your praise and also gently point out areas that could use improvement.

•Model coping with discomfort in your own life. Let your child see you experience frustration or disappointment, and talk through how you work to resolve those feelings in a healthy way.

•Seek counseling or parenting advice if needed. If you have trouble setting boundaries or allowing your child to struggle, speaking to a professional counselor can help give you strategies and the confidence to make important changes.
The path to raising children is not always easy, but with the right mindset and approach, we can guide them to become their best selves. Avoiding eggshell parenting and teaching kids healthy ways to cope with difficulties will benefit them for life. Our children don’t need us to make their lives perfect—they just need us to make them strong.



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