If you thought that having a perfect little angel who obeys every word — or rather command — that you say is the ideal, think again. Although having a young child who follows the rules is a goal for most moms, an overly obedient child can actually cause some problems. While there aren’t an uber-abundance of negative effects, acting overly obedient isn’t always a personality trait that you want to see.
Boundaries are essential when it comes to raising your child. While physical boundaries — such as that tall fence in your yard that acts as a kiddy corral — are key, the more mental kinds share an equally important place in child rearing. It’s ideal to create a delicate boundary balance that falls somewhere in between strict dictator and mushy push-over. Although it’s sometimes challenging to actually enforce boundaries, such as stopping your preschooler from constantly hugging her BFF, a complete loss of these rules may actually tie to over-obedience.
Overly obedient children may listen well, but seek to please so much that they lose the ability to distinguish boundaries. Your overly obedient tot may all-too-quickly attach herself to a new teacher right away in an effort to seem appeasing.
As your child moves from the entirely dependant first few years of life into the motion-filled toddler and preschool times, he is gaining a growing sense of independence. Moving, exploring and discovering his environment are all ways that young children build their own knowledge bases and develop new concepts. An overly-obedient child may feel worried or fearful that independent exploration is somehow wrong. He may stick to your side, and feel insecure when it comes to venturing away into the wide world of early childhood.
The increasingly independent child is beginning to grow her own sense of self-expression. Instead of only imitating words, gestures and actions that she sees, older toddlers and preschoolers have the ability to express their own ideas and feelings. While the overly emotional child isn’t exactly the picture of perfection, an overly obedient one may have difficulty expressing herself. Over-obedience may put a pin in your little one’s desire to say or emote her feelings as she tries to express only what she thinks that you want her to.
Discipline and Choices
Preschoolers are developmentally ready to understand that there are consequences for breaking the rules. If you tell your child that he has to pick up his toys and put them away or he will lose his cookie snack, he will certainly know that the sweet treat depends on his ability to follow your rules. While most moms — at least those who don’t want their kids running them ragged — would like their children to follow the rules, an overly obedient child may have difficulty when it comes to actually making choices for himself.
Whether he has anxiety over the consequences of his actions or simply aims to please, a situation with more than one option may vex him. Although he may sometimes fail, decision-making skills are crucial to your child’s growing development.