Finding it difficult to strike a balance between being overly protective and giving them the freedom of choice or exploration? Fret not, many parents have the same challenges too. Here are some tips that may help you to better strike this balance.
Instil Confidence and Discipline
Picking up a new sport or a musical instrument, solving complex puzzles, all these activities help your child to build up their focus and discipline in order to master something on hand.
Making Decisions and Choices
Instead of always deciding for your child, start to give them options. Like, do you want to wear the red or the white one? Ice cream or cake for dessert? Lego or Play Doh? This allows their little minds to make little decisions and then weighing the pros and cons of their decisions, thus bringing them one step closer to independence.
Taking Part in Competition
Another reality of life is that there will be ups and downs, winning and losing. It’s all sunshine and rainbows when things are going up and up but we also need to prepare our child for the downs. This won’t be easy because no one really like losing and failure.
Start off with simple, friendly competition amongst family where the stakes are low and in an environment that you can control. Have clear defined rules of the game and build up the characteristics of good sportsmanship. See how they act and react. Give timely feedback and review at the end of it all.
This will help them to understand and learn the essential part of life, how to handle losses and failure and compete in a fair and friendly manner.
Part of being independent is to allow your child to be alone. Watch from afar and observe what do they do? How do they deal with being alone and boredom. Even if they come asking you for things to do or to play with them, do resist and let them learn to deal with it. See where their imagination takes them.
With these tips, hope you find it easier to bring up your independent child. Failure and success are part and parcel of life. There can’t be one with another. If we were to always protect our children from making mistakes, taking chances and failing, we are preventing them from learning through adversity and challenges. It won’t be easy but it is necessary.