How much you really want your child to be independent?
“I really do”, is the normal answer of a good parent, but sometimes, our overwhelming care, our manifest fears and our need to provide everything for them shows exactly the opposite. Of course, many times it is about a real concern, also, sometimes is just our need to be with them more attached then they need.
A good parent gives love and gives space.
To show that you are there is the most important thing on earth for your child. To have a predictable and loving behavior and also respect the child boundaries is what you can do best.
A child raised in a loving environment, secured by parents’ affection and encouraged by their respect for him as a separate and different individual will guarantee the future independence of the child. The child will be curious to conquer new territories, not only because human are a curious specie, but also because he feels secured by the fact that home is a place where he is always loving welcomed.
Let’s see how we can encourage our children independence, step by step.
- Be there. Always be there. When the child request it, show him love. When he needs space, give him space. But be there.
- Show respect to your child. Listen to his concerns, debate with him both your opinions, teach him to provide arguments and acknowledge you were wrong when you were wrong.
- Give your child answers to any question he asks you. Even if this means to say: “I don’t know what to say right now, let’s read together and see what it is the answer”. Never refuse to answer a question.
- Offer your child the opportunity to develop as much talents as he wants. We don’t know what they will choose in life, but if we keep an eye on their natural skills and expressed desires, we can propose them activities that can easily motivate them to perform at their best. What he will choose as a profession, it will be his decision. Our job is to expose them to the possibilities and help them to engage in what they are attracted to.
- Create an independent environment. Let children help themselves. Don’t help them unless they exhausted all possibilities of doing the job themselves.
- Acknowledge an accomplishment. Praise children for completing the task on their own. This can be any task, no matter how small it might seem.
- Encourage “I do it myself”. Either it will be a little messy or maybe you will have to fix it later, encourage you child to have initiative.
- Find the courage to let go. Let him choose their profession, pursue his own goals either there far more different than you expected.
- Don’t show your anxiety. Either is about sleeping at a friend’s house or going to a surviving camp, try to get enough information in order to know him safe, then let go. Even if you feel anxiety, don’t show it to your child, because it will associate your fears with leaving home, which will be a big issue in his adult life.