Can we be too helpful?

Can we help we help our children make better decisions? Or, can we help our spouse achieve his goals?

Yes, but sometimes we are too helpful, say Eli Finkel, a professor at Northwestern University, and Grainne Fitzsimons, a professor at Duke University, in an article “When Helping Hurts” in the May 10, 2013, issue of The Dallas Morning News.

We must balance their need for support with their need for competence.

“We should restrain our urge to help unless the recipient truly needs it, and, even then, we should calibrate it to complement rather than substitute for the recipient’s efforts,” these professors stress.

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