06 Feb Happiness and Positive Psychology as it relates to parenting
Can anything be more pure than a parent’s love for a child? Parental love is one form of the character strength “capacity to love and be loved” as defined by Peterson and Seligman’s Character Strengths and Virtues, a universally recognized notion. But is it possible for parents to love their children too much?
A spate of recent media stories focuses on parents who hover over their young adult offspring to the detriment of naturally developing autonomy. Particularly problematic is when parents make decisions and plans for their emerging adult children, anticipate hurdles, protect them from the missteps and consequences of their actions, take up the sword to advocate for them, and generally play an active role in managing their emerging adult lives, even from a distance. Calling a college student to wake him for his 8:00 a.m. class may seem like a reasonable way to support your child’s success in college, but it won”t help him to learn to do that for himself and may even send him the message that he can”t.
Reading this may make most parents of young adults cringe. I know. I felt pangs of recognition in reading those stories about hovering parents. What parent hasn”t stepped over the line in protecting our children? Hasn”t it been our job for nearly 2 decades to anticipate bumps in their path and smooth the way? How do we navigate the line between bonding and binding? The first step is to notice that there is a line.
To read more of this story from Positive Psychology News Daily – click here