Ask Dr. Joy Miller: Are you doing too much for your children?

By WEEK Producer

July 11, 2012 Updated Jul 11, 2012 at 9:50 PM CDT

In tonight's Dr. Joy a look at how you are raising your children and if you are doing too much for them.

Are you one of these? A helicopter parent that hovers over your children, or a curling parent that sweeps all obstacles out of the path of their children, or an enmeshed parent who has lost themselves in their children? Dr. Joy is here to help you see if you are a parent like this and tips to change.

First of all, you may need to know what an enmeshed or helicopter parent is. Some people say it is the longest umbilical cord in the world. It is categorized by making your children the center of your life, focusing on your children and ignoring your own needs, making your child's success or failure a projection or defining your worth, or being invasive and needing to know everything your child is thinking and doing.

While this sounds like you are helping your child and being active in their life, you could be harming him or her. If you are doing everything for a child they never learn how to be responsible on their own.

It denies a child's natural progression to face fears, disappointments and life lessons. It creates a scenario where the child feels empty and worthless. It can create a situation where a child feels controlled and withdraws, rebels or acts out in anger.

So what can a parent do to step back and also help their child grow?Allow your child or teen to do things themselves and allow them to fail. Teach them strategies for looking at options and consequences and allow them to create their own plans to address situations. Set some boundaries in your own protectiveness. Give your child some room and let them show you they can handle the freer reign.

Finally, take time for yourself and set an example for your children. A balanced life leaves time for your work, play, children, friendship and your well-being.