Over, under, healthy – parenting

by Rod Smith

An unsolicited discussion guide for parent groups and schools

What over protection says to children:

  • You are not really capable and need all the help you can get.
  • Something missing or wrong inside you and you’ll never survive this rough world without vigilant oversight and extra help.
  • Someone is always watching out for you and picking up for you so there’s no need to grow up.
  • Your community will always rescue you. 

What under-protection says to children:

  • You are not worthy of love or protection.
  • Something missing or wrong inside you so fight off anyone who may see it or find out. 
  • You are alone and in the way.
  • A community, if you find one, can use you and turn on you.

What healthy parenting says to children:

  • You are treasured and capable and will sometimes need help and encouragement.
  • Every day you are becoming better prepared to be a fully functioning and loving adult.
  • You are whole and have everything it takes to face life’s many and beautiful challenges.
  • Every day, little by little, you need adults less and less because you can do more and more for yourself.
  • Your community loves you and expects you to achieve and become all you ever wanted to achieve and become.
  • The world is yours – go to it.

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