The Curling Mum

Since I learned about this word in the Netherlands word I use and play with it during coaching and training with my various clients. It’s a word for mums who swipe away every obstacle for their children. Of course they do that out of love. That’s not the issue here.

But, my question is, are they really helping their children by doing that? Most of the time the answer is, no.

What kind of person do you think that particular child will become? I am sure I don’t have to tell you what the answer to this question is. I am sure because the answers I get are always the same.

– Everyone knows you should not take away every problem for the other person.
– Everyone knows we all can, even must make mistakes to learn.
– Everyone knows we even have the right to make them.
– Everyone knows letting people do things themselves is much more empowering than taking away the opportunity.

And yet we cannot help ourselves to (over)help others. I bet there are not only curling mothers, but also curling fathers, curling managers, curling employees, curling bosses, curling friends, curling neighbors, curling colleagues, etc. who swipe away every little obstacle for others.

Again, helping in itself, is a fine quality. But here I wonder again: do you really help by doing so? And are you helping yourself?

I see many people suffering from this. They are always worrying about others. Afraid of what could happen. Afraid the other will not learn. Always busy, even stressed to save others, or the project. I see people burn out because of this. Not being able to let go. Not being able to deal with not knowing if all will be ok.

Here it is: By overhelping you don’t only harm the other but also yourself by doing so.

Think about this: What is ‘helping’?

Is helping taking away the opportunity for others to learn and grow


Is helping more like supporting as people execute on their own.

I am sure you know what the answer is. I am also sure you know what to do to prevent yourself or others not to ’overhelp’ other people.

What advice would you give when you see someone ‘over’helping?

Please leave your answer in the comments below. You never know who you help with doing so 😉