Outcome of Too Capable Parent

If your child seems to be under functioning you might be contributing by over functioning for him.



Your teenage girl leaves her dirty clothes all over her room, and you have been nagging her to pick them up and place in the laundry basket but for some years she never improve and you are continuing yelling at her every time the scene repeats. Now, instead of getting into another fight with her or nagging her to pick them up, you do it for her. Why? because it is easier.

Another son of you refuses to go to tuition center as he is not interested in learning and when you need to send him off to tuition center, both of you have to go through a routine fight before he gets in the car.

These sounds familiar to you?

At times, we "over-function" in our relationship especially with our children. You might not realize how this being started and most of the time you don't even notice that you are over functioning. Let's say your 4-years old know how to eat by himself, but you spoon feed her because it is faster and soon it becomes a habit. Or your 8-year-old son, who does not remember his duty as a student, forgets his text book again, and you rush to school for him. Or your adult daughter is not happy with her first job and doesn't know how to co-ordinate with her colleague, and jump in to advice her to quit the job (as the family doesn't require her salary for daily expenditures and all her salary is her pocket money) and try to "fix" the situation without listening to her.

When you get stuck in a role of doing too much, you might find it hard to give up—and often, those around you might not want you to stop!

It’s easy to get stuck in this role because you feel needed, people rely on you and are impressed with how much you do. But understand that over–functioning isn’t just a simple desire to be helpful or an annoying habit to overcome. Look at it this way: if you’re always focused on everybody else, it’s a way to not focus on yourself. Over–functioning is the way we’ve learned to manage our own anxiety by overdoing, just like your under–functioning child has learned to manage stress by underdoing. This turns into a problem when it becomes a fixed pattern in your family.

So for example, let’s say your 23–year–old son sleeps all day, parties all night, watch TV all day and won’t look for work, but you let him live under your roof without paying rent or asking him to leave. You find yourself waiting on him hand and foot. Maybe you're going along with this because you're avoiding the discomfort of a confrontation. But the question to ask yourself is, "Is this in my child's best interests or in mine?" Are you helping your child, or are you teaching your child to be helpless?

Continue Reading on Is My Child Under Functioner?

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