You’re one tough mother. You have this whole parenting thing down, and no one is going to accuse you of being a pushover (or so you think). There’s no way you’re that mom. You know, the one bribing her kids with gummy worms just to get them to leave the pool. Oh wait, yeah, you might be that mom. You’re a closet softy, and you’re starting to wonder if you’re even overindulging those little angels of yours. While you can never go overboard when it comes to giving out love, a healthy mix of tough and soft can do your child some good. If you don’t know where to draw the line, scroll on for seven signs you’re giving in too much.
1. You never say no, ever. Your child is perfect. Absolutely perfect. She could never do anything that anyone would possibly misconstrue as wrong. Even the best-behaved kids act out. Sure, their good moments may outweigh the bad ones, but that doesn’t mean your little one is Miss Manners 100 percent of the time. There will be times when you need to say no. If you find yourself always saying yes, no matter what the question is, you need to tighten the reins.
2. You put your needs last. Think about what the flight attendant tells you on the airplane. In the event of an emergency, you should put on your oxygen mask before you put one on your child. If you’re all about masking up your kid as you turn blue, well, you’re just being a normal mom. Come on, we all would do that. But if you haven’t bought yourself as much as a $5 tank top in the past four years (and your child has a celeb-worthy wardrobe), you need to back off and do something nice for yourself.
3. There are no expectations. Your preschooler doesn’t have to come say “hi” to Grandma when she makes the two-hour trip to your house once a month. After all, your kid is watching her favorite movie. And she shouldn’t have to put Nemo on hold just to be polite. Wrong. Obviously, your expectations need to be age-appropriate, but the point is that you need to have some.
4. You complete school projects. The preschool art show is coming up. Yay! It’s time to get out the crayons, markers, and tempera paints. But they’re not for your three-year-old. Yep, you’re planning on waiting until after you’ve read her fave bedtime book 7,000 times, and then you’ll get to work. If you find yourself always doing for your child, instead of helping her do for herself, you might be overindulging her.
5. There are no limits. Limits? Who cares! They’re just invisible barriers that stifle your kid’s curiosity and imagination. Hold the phone! Children need limits. They help your child learn what behaviors are okay, and which ones cross the line. So yes, setting limits (and sticking to them) is something you should do.
6. You can’t tell needs from wants. “Mommy, I need chocolate ice cream. Now!” Your kid needs the cone — so she says. Does she really need it? Of course not. She just wants it. When you start blurring the line between needs and wants, you start overindulging. Your child needs a coat on a cold day, but she wants the one with Dora on it.
7. There are zero consequences. If you tell your child that she can’t have time with the iPad if she doesn’t put her toys away, don’t give her the tablet if there are still trains scattered all over the playroom floor. You should never say there’s a consequence when there really isn’t one.
Where do you draw the line between being too tough and too soft? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)