How to Encourage Independence and Confidence in Children
Your kids are probably the most important thing in the world to you. You’ve watched them grow from babies to fascinating, creative, intelligent little people. But one thing that almost every parent struggles with is the fact that, eventually, they’re going to start to want more independence. It might be hard but coming to terms with your child’s desire to strike out on their own, even in small ways, is an incredibly important step for both of you. If you try too hard to keep them close then, they could end up resenting it and trying to break away in ways that aren’t safe. It’s all about finding the right balance between protecting them and giving them the independence that they need. Since anyone who’s gone through this will know just how hard it can be, here are a few simple things that you can do to help keep your child safe while giving them a little extra independence.
Teach them what to do
Just because you’re giving your child more independence doesn’t mean that you’re sending them out into the world unprepared for what’s out there. Make sure that you teach them exactly what to do in any situation. They should know how to cross the street safely and not to talk to strangers, but you should also make sure that they know their address, home number, and your full name. That way, if something happens and you’re not around, there’s no chance that they won’t be able to get in touch with you. If you’ve decided that your child is old enough for a cell phone then make sure that all of the numbers that they can reach you on are saved into it.
Give them some space
You might be used to spending weekends and afternoons reading books or playing together, but one of the saddest moments for a parent is the realization that your child would rather spend some time on their own or with their friends than with you. You spend so many years being your child’s best friend that this shift can be hard to deal with for a lot of parents. But you’ve got to remember that they will always love you and, even if they want a little bit more space these days, they’re still going to want you around. Don’t put pressure on your child for too much family time. They’re trying to find their own separate identity, and that’s important.
Keep them safe however you can
Your child isn’t going to want you constantly hovering over them, trying to make sure that nothing’s happening to them, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that you can do in order to keep them safe. For example, your home is the kind of place where you can put in plenty of measures to protect them without invading their personal bubble. A security system is a fantastic way to keep both them and the rest of your family safe whenever you’re at home. Check out Alarm Reviews top security system report to find a security system that’s right for your family. It’s also important that you have parental controls set up on all devices that have access to the internet. As much as you might like to, you can’t always monitor exactly what your kids are doing online so the best thing that you can do is to make sure they can’t access anything inappropriate.
Whatever you choose to do in order to help your child feel more independent, there’s one word that you simply can’t forget: trust. You need to trust them and allow them to trust you. Remember that you raised them to be the kind of person you can trust so have faith that they’ll make the right decisions. You should also avoid pushing too far into your children’s boundaries, as this can end up breaking the trust that they have in you. As your kids become older and more independent, your relationship needs to become more of a two-way street. They need to respect your rules and boundaries, but you also need to respect their wishes and desires to be their own person. They might make mistakes, but that’s part of being a kid. The important thing is that you’re always there for them when they do need you, no matter what. Make sure to sign up for Mum.info to get the best parenting content in your inbox!