Valorie Burton: Parents want to protect their children from pain, but there are times when their efforts are actually a mistake. When children suffer because of their own behavior, you may need to step aside.
Kids need to learn that choices have consequences, sometimes hard ones and the earlier they learn this, the better. As parents are instinct is to help our kids pick up the pieces when they are in trouble, but it's important to remember the long term goals of parenting, preparing your children to be adults, future employees, spouses and parents themselves.
A child who makes a habit of messing up may require some tough love. Sometimes that means learning lessons the hard way, and that can mean parents need to learn this lesson that we're really hurting our kids if we constantly clean up their messes. Self centeredness, immaturity and lack of responsibility are just some of the negative traits children develop if mom and dad always come to their rescue.
Administering a dose of tough love can be challenging. It goes against our instinct to nurture and protect our kids. You can always seek support from other parents, family members or even a counselor. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is let your child face the consequences.