Health & Wellness

Guest Column

Doing Too Much for Our Children

Maria Sikoutris-Di Iorio, Hellenic Therapy Center

As parents, we all have that innate desire to protect and provide for our kids. Yet, at some point we must ask ourselves, Are we doing too much for them? 

We are all guilty of mild and extreme acts of over-protectiveness and over- parenting that can be very damaging to our children. Many parents are willing to overextend themselves in catering to their children and excessively meeting their needs.  Parents may feel surprised or resentful when their children grow up feeling unable to take care of themselves. Doing too much for our children fosters dependence not independence.  

How do you know if you are doing too much? Do you feel burned out and put upon? You can determine if you are an over-functioner if: you tend to move quickly with advice; think that the more you do, the more you love them; think you know what’s best, not only for yourself but for others; correct problems and do not allow children to struggle on their own and find their own solutions.  Parents sometimes cannot sit with their own anxiety and instead jump in too quickly to rescue and inadvertently rob their children of the skills and practice that are necessary to develop competence and mastery in life.

Children who are not permitted to think for themselves and to solve their own problems have a heightened need for attention and approval, and have difficulty dealing with expectations. They also may have a tendency to blame themselves or others, and feel responsible for the happiness of others.  On the other hand, parents begin to feel resentful, overwhelmed and carry on an attitude like that of a martyr.

Sign Up for E-News

Good questions to ask yourself the next time your child asks you for something, are “can they do this themselves?”  “Am I doing something for them that they could learn and/or do for themselves?  If the answers are yes to both questions, then know that you are hurting them and not helping them with kindness.

At the Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, we specialize in family, individual and couples therapy.  We have a team of professionals who can guide you with parenting and family issues.  Visit our website or call 908-322-0112.


The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Springfield Gets $25.47K Grant for Inclusive Playground Equipment for Children with Disabilities

March 15, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Springfield is getting a $25,470 “Level the Playing Field” grant from Union County, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced Thursday.

The new grant program was designed to help every Union County municipality provide inclusive playgrounds to children with disabilities as part of Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados’s 2018 Union County HEART ...

Unity and purpose will allow Democrats to unseat Lance

March 11, 2018

In November, we have a chance to unseat Leonard Lance, Congressman for the NJ-7 district which includes Springfield. Leonard Lance voted to take away healthcare from his constituents and recently stood by as his party passed a tax plan in which his district became the second most negatively impacted district in the COUNTRY.  Lance is an enemy of a woman’s right to control her body but ...

Rutgers voices support for proposed state budget

March 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University officials have often been wary of the governor's annual budget message, wondering what type of budget cuts the university may sustain and how it would potentially impact tuition and the overall quality of education.

This budget message, delivered March 13, appears to be a sigh of relief.

Pete McDonough, Vice President of External Affairs at ...

Students at Congregation Beth Israel Receive Their Own Prayer Books

March 15, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Third graders in the Religious School at Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains received their own prayer books (siddurim) at a ceremony for their families on Sunday, March 11.  The families participated in a short program, with the students leading some of the prayers they had learned and explaining the meaning of their Hebrew names. Rabbi Howard Tilman led ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 17, 8:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Strollers' Present John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt"

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 18, 11:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary , Short Hills

March Guided Hike at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sun, March 18, 11:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills

March Guided Hike at the Cora Hartshorn ...

Education Green