My mother is the eldest of six children. For the majority of her life, she has been a practicing nurse. We all know that the eldest child has a tendency to be the bossy, know-it-all type. Well, not my mother. Before she even became a mother, she was a mother to many. She has always had a caring and nurturing disposition.

A blessing and a curse.

I’m not sure if it’s something that my mother can change about herself or if it’s an innate attribute. I think she realizes now (while finally focusing on herself and her education) that you can’t be there to save everyone. My friend GG gently reminds us why we must stop trying to fix people:

When you get caught up in enabling and fixing people, you’re stunting their growth.  You can’t do the work for them and you certainly can’t buffer them from the discomfort that’s necessary for sustainable change to occur. You are setting yourself up for a world of conflict and frustration.

There are just some people who always complain, always need advice, always have an issue, always need money….just too needy. When I feel myself becoming that person, I have to go to time out. In reality, no one has the power to save you; and you can’t always run away from your problems.

You may say, “kettle, what chu talkin’ bout?” True indeed, I live at home. From the moment I was of age to work, I worked. It took YEARS of thought before I finally decided to quit my job in order to pursue a more fulfilling life. I am forever indebted to parents who have allowed me to come back. The purpose is not to chill at home and be a bum. The purpose is to plan and move forward. The intent is to continue to work. The goal is to become self-sufficient.

I believe, when you coddle children, they will forever be dependent on you. Coddled children become unbearably selfish and irresponsible adults. It would behoove you to let them figure their own lives out. Because they will.

What say you? Are there benefits to coddling? What has your experience been?