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Definition: A vicarious pleasure or feeling is experienced by watching, listening to, or reading about other people doing something, rather than by doing it yourself.

As a parent, there is a fine line between living vicariously through your children and being supportive of them.

Clinical Psychologist Ruth Ancer says supporting your children in a healthy way means empowering them to be what they want to be and do their best.

Speaking to Eusebius McKaiser, Ancer says parents must guard against desiring an emotional response from their children in the guise of 'being supportive' when this is, in fact, serving the parents needs rather than the child.

We can usually tell when we have crossed the line when our support becomes self-serving.

Ruth Ancer, Clinical Psychologist

Ancer says sometimes parents want their children to 'fit in' with certain 'cool kid' cliques at school because they never felt they were never able to do so when they were young.

Sometimes it is not about the children's happiness.

Ruth Ancer, Clinical psychologist

She says parents can convince themselves their children need to develop certain friendships but it is not always for the right reasons.

Listen to the full interview below...

This article first appeared on 702 : How to know if you're living your life vicariously through your children

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