Parenting Pitfalls: Helping Your Child Be Independent and Responsible

All parents face two vital child-rearing choices:

  • Allowing children to grow into either self-reliant or dependent adults.
  • Giving children ways that help them become either capable or inept.

Being Too Protective of Your Child With Heart Disease

It may be easy for you to hover and place excessive limits on your child because they have a heart problem.

Being too protective will hinder your child's emotional growth, especially their chance to become self-sufficient.

To foster their independence, you must gauge your parenting style to avoid hovering.

If your teen or young adult with heart disease is dependent and clingy, they'll have trouble adapting to life.

Parents are the first line of defense in helping each other avoid shielding their child. Other family members and health care staff can also help.

Teaching Your Sick Child How to Be Responsible

Any chronic childhood illness brings a special need for both the parents and the sick child to be more responsible.

Kids with chronic heart disease need to:

  • "Grow up" faster than healthy children.
  • Take charge of their heart problem and future health needs.
  • Prepare for and handle any issues they may face at school or work.

You should teach your child this trait early and include a wide range of issues, especially those about health.

You can help your child learn competence by using discipline that is kind, firm, and consistent. This will make it easier for your child to grow into a well-adjusted adult.

Contact the Heart Institute at UPMC Children's

For the Heart Institute at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, call 412-692-5540.

Or if you don't live close to Pittsburgh, find UPMC Children's heart care near you.