As a parent, it is important that our children learn to become independent thinkers and self-reliant in the future. Trust me when I say, that as much as we hate to see our children grow up, we often wish they were independent enough to do things on their own. We are obligated as parents to teach them to be independent because it is not something that they can gain on their own. While the simplicity of doing things for our children that we know they can do saves us time and energy, it only hinders them. Find the courage to let go! We can’t give them any reason to suspect, that we are untrusting and unconfident in their abilities. We will always be their protector but trust that you have trained them to be competent and capable of thinking and doing for themselves.
There is no set age as to when to start teaching your child how to be independent. It will vary from family to family. Though the earlier you teach them how to stand on their own two feet, the better.
It is easy for our children to copy someone else to try to fit in or conform to what society thinks they should say or be. Honestly, I think that at some point in our lives we have all done or felt the need to do all the above. There’s no manual on how to be a phenomenal parent in this day and age, but we are well equipped to challenge our children more, dare for them to be different, and more creative than we ever were growing up.
There’s not a day that goes by that we, as parents, don’t think about how our children will turn out. What they are going to be when they grow up, if they will be bullied, be creative or popular, amongst a whole host of other things. We are not going to be able to control or fix EVERY single challenge that they will face. However, we can encourage them to be their true authentic self and provide them with the tools to create/choose their own path, make their own choices whether we agree or disagree, and get a reign on their future endeavors without having to hold their hand.
Try these simple steps:
- Create an environment that encourages independence– don’t help them until they absolutely need you or else they will depend on it.
- Let go– show your child that you simply believe in them and are confident in their abilities.
- Be their biggest cheerleader– acknowledge all accomplishments whether big or small.
- Learning opportunity– treat every experience as a chance to teach them how to become more independent.
Parents, we can raise independent children without them feeling like we are pushing them away and building them up to be fearless in their pursuit to navigate the world, with the sheer confidence of achieving whatever they set their mind to do. It all comes in stride, of course. In the end, we will marvel at our willingness to let go and patting ourselves on the back for raising independent human beings, who are comfortable enough to leave us. It just means we’ve done our job!