Loving Ties That Bind – How Your Best Efforts Are Putting Your Child at Risk

You think that preparing your child for success means teaching them how to stand on their own two feet. And while that’s true, most modern parenting swings between damaging extremes: either you throw your child out of the nest before he can fly, or shield him so much, that he never sees the sun, thus littering your child’s path to success with obstacles before kindergarten has even started.

We detach from our children too early. Even a late adolescent male, as old as 24 years of age, still wants, and needs a hug from his mom.  In the West, we tend to push our children out of the nest too soon, ironically, before they’ve learned how to fly.  More than that, instead of accomplishing what we set out to do, which was to make them more independent, and self-sufficient, we create the inverse, by pulling the rug out from under them prematurely, leaving them feeling insecure, stressed, and anxious.  This all leads to a needy, and dependent children.

Along with feeling insecure and needy, children who are not well bonded have difficulty with trust.  These children have a sense of free floating anxiety, feeling on some level that they have been rejected, and abandoned.  Because they feel let down by their parents, they don’t feel that they can count on them to be there no matter what.  And, because trust is based on experience, such children have a problem feeling that their parents are reliable. Now, they may transfer this lack of trust first to themselves and then to the world at large. To compensate for these feelings of abandonment, they often turn to outside groups, cliques, and gangs, creating for themselves a substitute family, and looking towards the gang leader as a surrogate parent.  By not getting the parental bonding and approval needed for healthy personality development, children reach for their peers to bond with, depending on their peer group for socialization.  We are seeing this more and more in urban settings, as witnessed by the gang violence in large metropolitan cities, such as Chicago.

We must decide if this is the future we want for our children. The answer of course is that you must take your power. You are the only one who can move your child into a healthy direction.