What Is Coddling?

Recently, I have been turning the question over in my head of whether or not I was coddled growing up. For years I’ve been assuming that I was and resented my parents for it. But recently I’ve been wondering if I might not have been making a few too many assumptions in that regard. I will readily admit that so-called “basic life skills” I was rather easily treated on. I mean, I can cook and wash dishes just fine. I wasn’t forced to do those tasks, and don’t exactly enjoy those tasks but I know how to do them. And that extends to many such things. But those that really mean I was coddled? Here, I turn to all the decisions that were made by my parents that challenged me: insisting that we pay for our own luxury items (ie. books, video games, etc.), insisting that I do things that were uncomfortable or painful (flu shots, blood tests, Taoist Tai Chi, swimming, downhill skiing, curling, needles, dentist appointments, school, homework, day camps, etc.), insisting that we contribute to the family (mainly in the form of lending our hands, arms or legs), insisting that we earn our way to privileges (not letting us drive the boats until we were ready, not letting us drive the cars til we were ready, not automatically saying yes to hanging out with friends), insisting that we be well-mannered even if we desperately wanted to pound the living daylights out of someone. The list goes on and on–and leads me to one conclusion. I was not coddled. I was not challenged in the same ways as others true, but I was challenged in different ways and I think just as worthwhile ways.

Published by Devin Hogg

My name is Devin Hogg. I was born and raised in Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2009 for university and lived here ever since. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, going on long walks, swimming, and practicing Chen style Tai Chi. I love to write poetry and blog regularly about topics such as mental health, sci-fi/fantasy series, faith, sexuality, and politics.

4 thoughts on “What Is Coddling?

  1. Just want to mention that some of the things you pointed out don't necessarily mean not coddling. They just mean that you have a parent that is concerned with your health/safety.Almost every child is forced to go to school or have blood work done when necessary. And few parents are willing to let their teenagers drive vehicles when they are not ready for it.To be fair manners is far less common now-a-days. So perhaps you weren't coddled, however some of the items you mentioned are so normal and expected of parents in modern society that they can't really be considered when discussing whether or not you were coddled.


  2. Fair point I suppose. But I have heard of parents who cater to their children's every desire and don't do anything that makes them unhappy. Therefore, I would count anything that made a child unhappy or uncomfortable as an example of not coddling.


  3. I consider coddling to include still taking care of your child even when the child is past that point and may not enjoy it. (i.e. sons who come home for a visit and their mothers insist on washing their laundry for them.) I don't think that making your child get necessary bloodwork can in any way be considered not coddling them. (however it cannot be considered coddling them either). This is the action of a concerned parent, regardless of whether or not they coddle their child/children.


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