Being a parent means taking care of your kids’ needs first… making sure they are well fed, dressed, and raised to be good, well-respected people.

I am not a helicopter parent, but I’m also not a free-range parent either… I’d like to think I’m somewhere in between. One lesson I’ve learned early on in my years as a mother and parent, is to teach children how to do things themselves.

Teaching kids to do things on their own doesn’t make you less of a good parent. Just because you’re their mom, it doesn’t mean you have to do everything for them. A child should eventually be able to feed themselves, tie their own shoes, and wipe their own bums. They’ll need to be able to poor their own orange juice, make their own beds, and do their own homework – without constant instruction and direction from parents.

Kids must learn to be self-sufficient – the earlier, the better.

Can you coddle your kids too much? I don’t mean just spoil with attention and gifts, but coddle and care for to the point where your child can’t do anything on their own?

Well, apparently yes. A 7-year-old boy has been ordered by a Swiss court to attend a special school because his over-protective parents have left him unable to do things for himself. The boy’s parents literally spoiled their son to the point that he was unable to fend for himself.

The boy’s parents removed “all obstacles” in his life, and kept him away from everyday learning experiences such as playing with other children, according to a school psychologist.

The result? The boy, Marko, was unable to cope in a regular school environment. Child psychologists said the boy was so impaired, he now has developmental problems, and can’t function in a regular school.

While the boy’s parents object and think he has a normal childhood, the court’s decision still stands.

Can you imagine a 7-year-old boy not being able to function in a school setting because his parents never allowed him to be free? I can just picture the parents hovering over this kid every moment, not giving him an opportunity to just be a child.

As a parent, I know it feels wonderful to be needed. We love that our children need our help, and some people feed off that to the point where they are over-bearing. But doing everything for your children is detrimental to their development and well-being in the long-term.

What do you think?




Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

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