While it can come from the best of places, something like meddling in your child’s relationships has more potential to go poorly than smoothly.
Even if you might feel as though you’re just putting out your two cents here and there, you may not experience the part that causes your child difficulty. It may occur entirely behind closed doors and can enable challenges to occur within your dynamic.
Offering Advice Vs. Getting Involved
That said, there is undoubtedly a difference between becoming involved and offering advice. These are where the waters get murky because what can feel like well-intentioned advice can sometimes have toxic effects. It depends on the nature of the advice, whether or not it was solicited, and your child’s age and maturity level.
Advice turns to meddle when there is biased information presented that often isn’t relevant to the situation. This is usually an opinion that’s shared with the intent to sway opinions, or actions that overstep your child’s boundaries.
Yes, your child needs boundaries to build and maintain healthy relationships, and it often starts at home. You have a fantastic opportunity to cultivate a healthy, well-functioning relationship with your child, where you won’t need to overstep to make the difference.
Resentment, On Both Ends
Bitterness is a killer of relationships for a reason. If you’re wondering how caring for your child and trying to steer them from trouble can build resentment—consider this:
If your actions are not well received, your child will likely resent you and force responsibility onto you for things not turning out well.
And of course, you are human and do have feelings of your own, so in turn, you might feel resentment back for their lack of understanding that you were trying to help. This is one of the many ways that getting involved can lead to resentment with both parties.
You Teach Them to Allow Others
Let’s say the best-case scenario has occurred, and everything goes blissfully according to plan. Everyone is happy except, you’ve now set the example that it is not only okay for others to get involved in the complexities of your child’s relationships. But in fact, that it would benefit them to do so.
This can open a whole can of worms when it comes to what they allow others to say to them, or convince them to do.
They Will End Up Lacking Skills
Going hand in hand with establishing improper boundaries with others, are the possible repercussions that come with taking charge in a relationship for your child. They begin to omit their reasoning to deal with conflict in the most natural way according to themselves. Instead, they act according to what others think. They may eventually end up lacking the skills to deal on their own altogether.
This can impact their self-esteem, confidence, and ability to cope and grapple with adversity.
A Word from GR8NESS
While the intentions to get involved in your child’s relationships can be tempting, the possible negative side effects are not worth damaging your relationship or theirs with themselves and others. The very last thing you want is to have to end up restoring things later on. Stay on a neutral playing field, and you never know who might give you that call for advice in the long run.