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By Lauren Katulka
Our children are born helpless, completely dependent on us for food, shelter and love. As they grow, it can be tempting to continue satisfying their every whim. But this pattern can lead to “helicopter parenting,” a parenting style that can do more harm than good, says Holly Schiffrin, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.
According to Schiffrin’s research, published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies, over-parented teens show less autonomy, competence and relatedness to others, resulting in symptoms of depression and decreased satisfaction with life.
This parenting style, while well-intentioned, denies kids the opportunity to practice independent problem solving skills. Help build your child's confidence by requiring him to complete these tasks for himself.
Take Responsibility for Clothes
By age 3, your child should be able to dress himself. He may need help with buttons and zippers, but these motor skills will improve in time. Give your kid a small number of weather-appropriate outfits to select from, and gradually widen the scope.
Take Responsibility for Clothes (continued)
Care for Toys
Care for Toys (continued)
Care for a Pet
Caring for a pet is a great way to instill responsibility in your child from an early age. Bonus: As your child learns how to care for an animal, you get more free time and a cute pet!