The journey of childhood is defined by the transition from a state of complete dependence to one of personal autonomy. To go from being a helpless infant to an independent adult.
To achieve healthy independence, kids need to be taught how to feel comfortable with every aspect of who they are. This is especially important for children with elevated anxiety levels. They must be provided with enough structure to make them feel secure, but not so much structure that their ability to make decisions is curtailed.
You’ve heard of helicopter parenting? How about the lawn mower parent? Both these parenting strategies come from a place of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of danger. Fear of the unknown.
And both these types of parenting, according to Julie Lythcott-Haims’s book How to Raise an Adult, prevent children from developing resourcefulness, resilience, and critical thinking skills. This overparenting cripples our children and prevents them from becoming healthy, independent adults.
Practicing Autonomy Supportive Parenting is one way to end overparenting and achieve our true parenting goals with minimal stress – to them and us.