One of the most dangerous practices in parenting is Treating the child as a broken and fragile thing in the name of protecting and helping that child (this is especially pernicious if a child has a learning disability or special need.)
Parents who do this aren’t increasing their kids’ esteem.
Their transmitted message is, “My poor child, you are perfect, we must protect your perfection from cruel world, you are hereby absolved from all social mores.”
This sends the message to the child: “mom and dad doesn’t believe I have what it takes to learn and to learn the rules.”
Most of the so called “manners” and “social mores”*** in young children are learned by rote & repetition. I’m talking about “typical” kids!
Modern parents project so much adult pathologies onto their children that they expect the child to first grasp the enlightened concept of courtesy before they can teach their child how to behave courteously. There are some adults who say “please” and “thank you” from habit, they aren’t having a deep philosophical introspection about their contribution to interpersonal relationships for all their P’s and Q’s.
The parents become so afraid (to be fair, they are also “taught” by the system and people in the system that they should be afraid) — they project their intense fear into the child. They do everything possible to protect the child while at the same time treating the child as if the child cannot understand or cannot be taught (unintelligent) and cannot do what is taught even if the child shows a desire to do (incompetent).
I expect the right expectations to be made for the child but often there are no expectations in the child.
The parents then come to speak for the child and think for the child essentially removing all power from that child. (I’ve spoken with many autistic adults for example who are terribly annoyed by the current situation of “speaking for us without us” and there is a lot of infantilising of these adults that start very young: see also — Nothing About Us Without Us).
*** There are situations where the child becomes very physically / sensory-distressed in certain settings. Then I’d ask parents not to subject a child to that level of sensory distress only to then hate the unfairness of the world for not being able to “understand” — they have not been understanding their child.