As parents, many of us do things for our kids that we were able and expected to do for ourselves as kids. Our parents didn’t feel the need to negotiate with our sports coach, solve our every problem, or entertain us in our free time. A big difference from today, when all too often we are over-involved in many areas of our children’s lives. Sounds funny, I know. How can a parent be too involved or do too much for their child? Isn’t that just being a good parent? But when we don’t expect our kids to take responsibility for chores or their behaviour, and we attempt to smooth away all the bumps and bruises that are a natural part of childhood, we aren’t doing our kids a favour. Instead, we’re bringing them up to avoid taking personal responsibility and to expect that others will take care of things for them – even when they are really able to take care of it themselves. We’re teaching our kids that life is full of unmanageable problems, when what we actually want them to learn are the basic skills to manage those problems. Stepping back and taking on the role of coach and teacher instead of “do-er” and “fixer” was one of the hardest things I had to do as a parent. But it is also one of the best things you can do to help your child build their social and problem-solving skills and at the same time learn responsibility.