Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Underprotection and overprotection. Children fall victim to both. There are so many children around us -- so many in the school where Diane teaches -- who have little shelter (I mean this figuratively, but last year she had two children who were at various times homeless), little protection. No one there to assure them that they'll be taken care of. No one making sure homework gets done, making sure meals are balanced (as balanced as kids will eat!), making sure that they're safe. But there is also that other challenge that parents have: not to be overprotective. I see it all the time. Families where the children are filled with a sense of entitlement and infallibility. If they aren't selected for the all-star team, then ALL THE COACHES HAD IT OUT FOR THEM. Unfair! If they didn't receive the best grade in the class, THEN THE TEACHER IS INEPT. These are the families where decisions are always made by the children. A good prayer for parents would be: Lord, help us to be protective, but not overprotective, just as we have learned from you, our Father.


  • And here is another sad point to the story. This is so cyclical in nature. Usually kids who grow up with no protection will end up being parents who don't (can't) protect their kids due to their age (11-14 yr old moms), low self esteem, selfishness or they just don't have the skills because they weren't handed off to them by their parents. And the same can be said of the kids who grow up with the parents feeding them with their own custom made silver spoons. They grow up with a sense of entitlement and a myopic world view that will be the fall of their own kids (if they even choose to have them ...) as their kids will inherit the "about me and my happiness gene."

    We've got to break the cycle.

    The problem is that the salt remains in the shaker and the light under the bowl. And I'm not talking about "the church." I'm challenging myself.

    Tell Diane I said, "thanks for being salt!"

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 8/24/2004 06:58:00 AM  

  • Amen.

    By Blogger Greg, at 8/24/2004 11:26:00 AM  

  • I am a social worker who loves analogies and your comments reminded me of a favorite:
    Families are like water
    You put water in it's most rigid form (ice) apply stress and you can actually break water. SOme families are not flexible and if things don't happen their way it leads to break downs.

    You pour water on the ground you end up with mud. You can tell where the water ends and the ground begins. Like parents who don't have any boundaries - you can't tell who is the kids and who are the adults.

    Healthy familes are like swimming pools. Rigid boundaries with room to allow waves. I can jump into a pool and do a cannonball (not that i would want to at 37 years of age and 200lbs) and the vast majority of the water stays in the pool. Health families know where their boundaries are and also give enough room to calm the waves of the cannonball's life sends us.

    Steve Duer

    By Blogger Steve Duer, at 9/15/2004 12:56:00 PM  

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