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A common question mothers and fathers alike ask themselves when raising children – can you love your child too much? You might be thinking that surely you can’t love your child too much. But what if lots of love actually affects your child’s growth as much as a lack of love?
You can love your child too much to a point that they don’t develop their independence and instead develop behavioural issues. They can lack confidence and life skills from being sheltered from the world because of your protectiveness. It’s important your child knows they’re loved, but not in charge.
Let’s take a closer look at the aspects of showing your child you love them without hindering their growth.
Is it possible to love your child too much?
It is definitely possible to love your child too much, to a point that you deprive them of space, growth, and development. The opposite can also happen where a parent doesn’t love their child enough. This creates distance and issues between the two. Whether it’s done on purpose or subconsciously, a child can be hurt thinking that the person who has raised them doesn’t love them. You need to find the appropriate balance where your child knows they are loved, but isn’t completely spoilt.
If you show your child too much love, you are seen to bend at their will, granting them whatever you believe they need or want. This will not teach them any independence and they will take things for granted. Loving them too much can lead to behavioural issues like temper tantrums when they don’t get what they want. This bratty behaviour will follow them into their adolescence and even further if they aren’t disciplined.
What happens if you love your child too much?
As a parent, you can find yourself becoming very protective of your child. You can want to shelter them from the world by showing them all of your love. This can actually stunt their growth in their life skills and confidence because they aren’t exposed to enough of the world to develop them. Your child will take longer to learn and increase common sense. Resilience is learnt from trial and error outside of their loving household. They might struggle to navigate transport or properly interact with others because they have been so sheltered by your love.
Loving your child too much will affect their development of independence and ability to be self-reliable. They will struggle with decision-making processes. They will either have a lack of confidence when they step out into the world or be too overconfident. It can even be the reason behind your child leaning on your support. This can mean your child doesn’t wipe their own bum until later down the track because they are taking advantage of your over-loving relationship.
Of course, you want to show your child that you love them. They deserve to feel loved, but you shouldn’t let your affection hinder their growth. Otherwise, they will end up solely relying on you for the greater part of their life and missing out on lots of experiences.
Should you tell your children you love them every day?
You should try to tell your child that you love them at least once a day because they will know then that no matter what it is true. It doesn’t have to be more than once, but it is enough to make sure that even after you’re gone, your child can recall you telling them you love them. And not just in certain moments, but constantly. They won’t doubt that this love ever faltered if you tell them every day.
It is ultimately up to you, but this is one of the biggest reasons parents tell their children they love them each day. You might be someone who chooses to save this for ‘special occasions’ like milestones (losing a tooth, starting or finishing school) and celebratory events. By only saying ‘I love you’ at these times, its effect can be greater because it isn’t something that is heard all the time. But this can also influence your child to think that they will only hear this praise if they do something major to deserve it.
This can cause them to believe that they are only loved when they accomplish things. This can also contribute to you not getting along with your child because they feel this pressure to achieve things constantly to gain your love. You want your child to feel loved no matter what, which is why even saying ‘I love you’ after a disciplining talk can be important.
Why you should tell your child you love them
You should tell your child you love them because it reminds them that they aren’t alone and that people care about them. It builds your relationship with your child and helps them to always feel supported.
Children and adolescents that aren’t told they’re loved by their parents can suffer anxiety and very low self-esteem. By telling them you love them, their self-confidence builds, as well as the trust between you and them. Without this communication of endearment, kids can grow distant from their parents because the trust is not formed.
If saying ‘I love you’ isn’t your thing, you need to find other ways to show your kid that they are loved. This could be by cooking their favourite meals or spending quality time with them. Keep good and open communication with them. Make sure your child feels important within your life. Let them experience being the sole focus of your attention even for a short while. After all, this is what they will come to recognise as love. It is what they will search for in their future relationships. You want them to know what a healthy relationship feels like so they find supportive friends and partners.
Is it bad to tell your child you love them all the time?
It can be bad to tell your child you love them all the time because it can actually start to overwhelm them. Especially when they start to go through puberty and their early years of high school. They have a lot of changes going on in their life. They are just starting to understand the different forms of love. Also, the variety of emotions that are experienced in relationships. Many teenagers can get embarrassed by parents telling them they love them on a constant basis. Especially in front of their friends and peers. This can lead to emotional outbursts and them starting to avoid you.
To try and stop this from happening, choose the times you tell your growing child you love them. Tell them you love them before bed or in private spaces when there aren’t any outer community members to witness. This way they will still appreciate the affection without their attention being on the thoughts of their onlookers.
Can you give your child too many kisses?
You can give your child too many kisses if it isn’t their preferred way of showing and accepting affection. Some kids might prefer to show their love through hugs or high fives, Lots of kisses might feel very smothering and uncomfortable to them. Kids are humans too and some like their personal space.
It’s important to give your child enough space to figure out how they prefer to show affection. Some kids are very receptive to kisses, finding that it is comforting and boosts their morale. You just need to pay attention to your children individually. Their affection habits will differ from one to the other. Be guided by their cues.
The most important thing you can do is support and love your child unconditionally!
Some parents give their kids presents as a sign of their love, but have you ever wondered if too many toys might be bad? Vidar Australia has some hot tips and tricks for working at home with a toddler! There is lots more of this great health and lifestyle advice in our Vidar Australia blog. Be sure to check it out for inspiration in your everyday life!