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The Effects of Babying Your Child

by Melissa Willets, studioD

Most parents want to shield their sweethearts from feeling pain or experiencing problems. While it's only natural to keep your kiddos out of harm's way, babying them can have negative effects, too. Not only will it be embarrassing when you're cutting your teenager's meat in front of his date, but he may suffer emotionally and developmentally much sooner than high school.


AskDrSears.com, a website by pediatricians, cautions that parents who do everything for their kids risk raising overly dependent tots. If you always assist your little one in drinking from a cup, how can he do this on his own when you aren't around? Of course it's hard to let go! But part of being a parent is teaching your child necessary skills and then letting him try on his own. He may get frustrated when he spills some juice, but that is part of learning how to drink out of a cup. AskDrSears.com offers the comforting advice that sometimes it is appropriate to let your child struggle so that he can get to the next level of self-sufficiency.

Poor Self-Esteem

Developing self-sufficiency will lead to self-confidence in your child so let him try new things. If, for example, you don't allow your preschooler to go down the slide at the park unless he is on your lap, you are basically saying, "You are unable to do this on your own." AskDrSears.com is quick to advise parents on the importance of both pushing and protecting tots. Finding the right balance between these two ideals will best foster your little buddy's self-esteem. HealthyChildren.org also encourages parents to help little ones develop self-confidence by allowing them to behave more maturely, as long as it is safe. Let your adventure seeker try that slide on his own; you will be there to catch him at the bottom ... if he needs you.

Developmental Delays

HealthyChildren.org asserts that, by preschool, tots should be developing a budding sense of independence in their daily lives. That means that activities like dressing themselves (as crazy as their outfits might end up looking), picking out a snack, brushing their teeth and picking up their toys should become part of their repertoire. If you insist on tying your tyke's shoes, assisting him in using a fork at meals and lathering him up in the tub, he may fall behind his peers when it comes to developing skills and responsibilities.


If your kiddo sees that every other kid in his class can wipe his own nose, while you insist on doing this for him, he may grow to resent you. Kids are extremely perceptive; if they sense you are stifling them, your relationship will suffer. KidsHealth.org recommends that parents give their tots tons of opportunities to master the world around them.

About the Author

Melissa Willets has been writing about parenting, pregnancy and "all things mom" since 2009. She has contributed to many websites, including Pampers.com and WhatToExpect.com.

Photo Credits

  • D. Anschutz/Digital Vision/Getty Images