I was fascinated with the sound of “wimpy parenting.” I wondered, did I fit the bill? I looked through the list of bullet points and no, for once I didn’t do all of these things. Therefore I’m not a wimp! That’s the good news.
The bad news is I did plenty of them. I had no issue with saying “No!” and set plenty of limits for my kids, but I never liked to see them fail. I often protected them from their choices and tried to fix their problems.
In the article “Dr. Randy Cale’s Terrific Parenting: Wimpy parenting makes for wimpy kids” from The Saratogian Lifestyle, here are his traits that make a parent a wimp:
Many parents today seem to have graduate degrees in wimpy parenting. What are the characteristics of the wimpy parent?
• Can’t seem to set limits for children
• Protect them from the consequences of poor choices
• Respond to almost every request or demand from child
• Try to fix every problem their child encounters
• Constant work harder at their child’s life…than the child does
• Cringe at the thought of their son or daughter being upset at them
• Incessantly negotiate to keep child happy
• Becomes personal chauffeur on demand
• Let’s child decide what good for them (i.e., food, video games, phone time, apps, etc.)
• Changes plans in an instant when child requests something
• Can hardly stand the thought of just saying ‘no’ to their child
How many on the list have you done? I did four of them a lot, so a little less than half. I was so good at saying no to my kids that when we’d go to Disneyland and we were corraled into a gift shop after “It’s a Small World,” my kids wouldn’t ask for a toy! I had them trained to not ask by saying “no” so often. What dreary little lives they led, right? Hardly, but I didn’t want to be the dad who bought his daughter an ice cream cone while we were waiting for our table at a restaurant with friends. I also didn’t want to be the mom who caves and buys their kids something to make them stop a temper tantrum in a store. No, I was the one who let them have a hissy fit and tried to ignore it.
Here’s what the consequences are to being a wimpy parent according to Cale:
SO, WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? I GO EASY ON MY KIDS
It’s not a big deal. If you have space for your children in your home when they are 35, and have a trust fund set up for them to live on. In other words, they should be just fine, if you are prepared to care for them forever. They will not be happy or satisfied, but they should be okay.
WHY SO BLEAK A FUTURE FOR THESE CHILDREN OF WIMPY PARENTS?
Everything about wimpy parentings puts children on the wrong path to excel or find happiness in life. It creates a set of expectations that is not in line with reality. The wimpy parent is teaching their child that they can get everything that they want, with virtually no effort. In what world is this true?
These children grow up expecting everything while giving very little. This ‘entitled’ attitude not only fails in relationships, it fails in the work place. What happens is that these young adults end up ‘entitled’ to a room in the basement, and ‘entitled’ to dad’s paycheck.
They also grow up expecting few limits on their behaviors or actions. Having felt few consequences for their choices, they believe they can get by with just about anything. In fact, often they do not believe that consequences apply to them!
Who is Cale? According to The Saratogian Lifestyle: Dr. Randy Cale, a Clifton Park-based parenting expert, author, speaker and licensed psychologist, offers practical guidance for a host of parenting concerns. His website, http://www.TerrificParenting.com, offers free parenting guidance and an email newsletter. Readers can learn more by reviewing past articles found on the websites of The Saratogian, The Record and The Community News. Submit questions to DrRandyCale@gmail.com.
What are your thoughts about wimpy parents? Are you one and how have you changed?