64 GoodLifeFamilyMag.com NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2018 be. But your kind and considerate help in reflecting with the teen can be helpful. IT’S ALWAYS OKAY TO ENCOURAGE, affirm and give your teen your confidence.They always need that, even when they are 42 years old. They want to know that you are pleased with them. REALLY THINK HARD AND GET SOME HELP from a trusted friend when a situation arises that you are tempted to step in. Remember, if you step in, you are teaching your child that they are incapable, unable and are dependent on others to make it in life. They will go in to life “disabled” in the deepest sense of the word. They will be hobbled in their ability to face challenges. So seek input from others before jumping in. SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN: DON’T ORDER FOR THEM AT RESTAURANTS; don’t speak for them in situations they are uncomfortable in; don’t do all the arrangements for play dates. Get the child involved and encourage independence. Set the child up for success ahead of time by practicing and encouraging. TEENS:INSISTTHATTHEYDOALLCOMMUNICATING THEMSELVES FIRST, in situations like interfacing with teachers about a grade, a need for making up a quiz, getting work when they are going to be absent, etc. Knowing your teen has weak areas doesn’t excuse them from making the first attempt. You can then come alongside to help if needed. Don’t do for children what they can do for themselves. Let that little rule of thumb be singularly present from birth through the teen years. Then you can see them launch successfully, as you continue the most and deepest support needed – your love and affirmation of the people they are. Editor’s Note: Dr. Dean Beckloff is a pediatric therapist, school counselor and trainer, who specializes in treatment for children and families navigating divorce or other life challenges. He is the founder of the Beckloff Behavioral Center in Dallas. If you wish to contact Dr. Beckloff with questions, comments or for a consultation, he can be reached at www.DrBeckloff.com or 972.250.1700. Lawnmower parents “mow down a path for their children, removing all obstacles that may cause discomfort, challenges or struggles.” - USAToday