How To Help Your Children Gain Independence
Parents usually try to do their best to give the children the life skills they will need to succeed and be happy. One of the toughest things to teach your child is independence. This can be tough for a child to learn and it can equally difficult for a parent to teach. Sometimes parents are reluctant to let their children go. They may want to be needed by their children long past the point of it being healthy for their child or they may feel as if they are the expert and no matter how many experiences the child has, they still always think they know better. Even if the parent is well-adjusted and able to let their child grow and mature, the child may resist and need to feel as if they are being taken care of. These challenges can occur at any stage in life. Toddlers may be reluctant to leave their mother’s side and children in early adulthood might feel as if they need to stick around their house relying on their parents to make all of their decisions for them. Throughout their life, it is important to help children be independent regardless of how much of a challenge it is. Remember, there will come a time when you will not be able to be there for your child and you want them confident enough to strike out once you are gone. One of the ways you can help your child succeed is by helping them transition to a home of their own. Once they have moved out, slowly change their space into something the whole family can enjoy. If need be, put their extra belongings in a public warehouse or fulfillment facility, just so they do not feel like they can come home at a moment’s notice.
Even before they settle into their own space, do what you can to support their decisions and encourage them to succeed. Your child should feel like you are their biggest cheerleader. This does not mean agreeing with everything they want to do, but let them know you trust them. Be honest with them about their strengths and weaknesses and make sure they know you want them to be happy on their own terms.
Be sure you spend plenty of time with your child, no matter how old they are. When they are young, you will be their best friend. As they grow, they will spend more of their time with other people, but it is important that you continue to be a part of their lives. Once they are adults, try to create a relationship that is as much based on mutual respect and friendship as it is on parental guidance.
When the time comes for your child to move away from home, help them get settled in their new space. If you are having a hard time accepting they are all grown up and leaving home, put aside these emotions for later when you are alone with your spouse or your friends.
Your child should not feel like they are hurting you by growing up and moving on with their life. Help your child realize you want to be a part of the new life they are building in a healthy way and if believe they are making good decisions and they are happy, be happy for them. Let them know you will always be there for them when they need you.