Navigating Life's Journey Blog
Helping others navigate this journey of Life!
A weekly blog from the Family & Consumer Sciences Department
Preventing Helplessness in Children
Infants are born helpless and we are willing to help, so we become accustomed to doing things for them. But then, as children grow, how do we know if we have slipped into doing too much, doing things for them that they should be doing for themselves?
Sometimes children tell us when we have done that. Instead of saying, Do it myself, they say, You do it. Do it for me. I don't know how. Later they say, I'm tired. I'm busy. I don't want to. That's not fun. Have my sister do it. It's not my job. I can't. Why me? My stomach hurts. I didn't hear you. If we get these I'm helpless responses on a regular basis, it's time to figure out if we have been doing too much.
If we feel confused about when to help and when to stand back, there are questions we can ask.
About the child:
These questions can give us a clue about how we can change what we do in order to let our children build competence instead of helplessness.
Adapted from the work of Jean Illsley Clarke