CODEPENDENCY IN PARENTING

Codependency is the desire to control people, including significant others, colleagues and even children. It can have detrimental effects on healthy child development. There has been an emergence of what we call helicopter parenting. This phenomena describes a parenting style, where the parents are constantly hovering over their children and swooping down to rescue them from any distressful situation. These overly anxious parents are modeling high anxiety much of the time with their constant questioning and fixing.

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorder facing youth today. I am not saying children don’t need a lot of time and devotion. They need parental guidance to help them develop into strong and secure individuals. This time is best spent exhibiting emotional intelligence while we parent. What this means is allowing our children to be and become who they want to be. Therefore, it is essential that parents spend time building a trusting relationship first. Parents encouraging their child to explore life, believe in who they are and approve of who they are, allows the child to feel loved and accepted. Parents that are always pushing dogmas, accolades, high grades and performances often putting undue pressure by over directing the child. This results in a loss of personal identity and causes the child to question his self-worth. Many times children lack confidence to succeed because they don’t feel accepted at school or at home. First and foremost they need two things. They need to know you are on their side and they need to “feel felt.” Sadly, codependency is oftentimes a learned behavior that can carry forward into adulthood. In adulthood, codependency can mask itself through anxiety, stress and depression.

It’s important to recognize some common warning signs of codependency:

· the need to be in control
· excessive need to please others
· anxiety and stress
· extreme worry
· not feeling “good enough”
· non-assertive communication
· blame self for others problems
· lack of trust
· fear of being alone
· intimacy problems
· difficulty making decisions
· chronic anger

Codependency, at one time, was understood to be a condition attributed to alcoholism and drug addiction. It has since taken on a much more expansive meaning and sometimes viewed as a form of addiction itself.

In contrast, Emotional Intelligence is a panacea for many prevalent personality disorders found in our youth and adults today. Here are some key points that Emotional Intelligent parenting provides.

1. Establishes a trusting relationship
2. Maintains healthy boundaries
3. Sets reasonable rules
4. Sets realistic expectations
5. Encourages your child to openly express his/her thoughts and feelings
6. Provides a nurturing and supportive environment
7. Allows your child to explore and be independent
8. Encourages problem solving. (Don’t rush to fix everything, rather guide and encourage your child to find the solution)

We teach how to become an emotional intelligent coaching parent here at Simpatico. Let me invite you to our website for a schedule of our upcoming classes on: “How To Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children”

Codependency in Parenting Blog by Karen Jean Lowe @ Simpatico www.simapticokjl.com

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