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Empowering Not Coddling

Being a parent will always be one to the most challenging job and responsibility that mankind would ever hold. We all have heard that parenting and children don’t come with a manual. Maybe that’s where the beauty lies. To learn, understand and nurture that relationship because each child is different.  

When we talk about bullying, both the bullied and the bullier stems from lack of confidence and esteem. We need to teach and support our kids, to empower them but not coddle our children.  Here are some tips on how that can be done.

1.Show not just tell

All the “I love you”  that you tell the kids is not going to mean anything if it is not followed by believable actions when they need it the most.

All of that is needed, well and good, but if the minute they come to you (as an example) and tell you something that is big to them and bothersome, they feel shot down.. “Oooh it is just the way it is..”  for example,  you cannot expect them to feel that love if they don’t feel they are heard and understood.

As humans, let alone as a child, we all have the need and feeling to be heard and understood. We find joy and security in those feelings.

2.Let them fail

It is fully understood that most parents first instinct is to protect their children “from all the ugliness”. That just begs the question “at what costs” and “how much is too much”.  There needs to be a balance.

Encourage them to discover and experience new things.  As parents, there is no denying that you might be scared out of your mind but, support them in their own personal journey. Parenting is about giving kids the power to make their own decisions, give them the power to think, giving them the power with your guidance, what is “right” and what is “wrong” for them, not you.

Be the light but not so much of the shadow is the best way for me to articulate this.


You have to trust in the common values that you have shown and instilled in your child thru your own interaction, communication with your children, personal behavior. The truth of the matter, kids see, feel not hear what adults tell them most of the time.

Trust in your own skills that you have communicated those well and that is is the values that they also share.

Also, trust in the fact that they are well equipped in emotional and mental intelligence because of your guidance (not hovering) that the decisions that your child makes, will be good for them  (would you hurt yourself on purpose). They will, in the end, make good calls for themselves. Trust does also go both ways.

In the end, having confidence and believe in your own self, helps in lessening the bullying epidemic because the won’t be any case of the power play or true sense of inner love and security.

Coddling leads into over dependency, self-doubt, and uncertainty, seeking in others for answers. That does no one any good.


About the writer

Mazura Illani Manshoor graduated from Boston University with a degree in Psychology. She is a certified Early Childhood and a Montessori teacher with years of teaching experience.  

She is also co-founded  CreaTee and has the strong passion for children and education causes.

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