Parents are responsible for every facet of their child’s life and well-being the moment they decide to have one. Their complete dependence on you is undeniable. This goes as far as months guiding them to utter their first words to basic life skills such as standing and walking on their own two feet. However, at some point, this reliance would have to come to an end.
Being there for them every step of the way is excellent. But if parents train children to be dependent on them for the rest of their lives, they’d rob them of the freedom, responsibility, and life lessons they deserve.
In fact, studies show that overprotective parenting styles have a negative impact on a child’s social skills, including their anger control management and the ability to resist peer pressures. Moreover, too much adult interference also results in apathetic, unmotivated, and fearful youth unable to make their own short or long-term life choices.
Parents must accept that although proper guidance is needed, certain decisions must be left for youngsters to ponder. That way, they can try to find their way in and around the real world.
4 things to let your kids decide on their own
The freedom to choose their outfit
Give your toddler the freedom to choose what they want to wear for school, for errands, for playdates, or simply an outfit they can wear around the house. Ensure that you guide them on dressing appropriately for the weather for their safety and protection.
If you wish to sew some outfits for them, make sure to introduce your child to different colors, age-appropriate designs, and patterns for boys and girls to choose from. Moreover, allow them to pick whether they want to wear their favorite short-sleeved shirt for their online class or a simple white dress and cute sandals to match their mood for the day.
The freedom to choose their friends
One crucial element of boosting your child’s social, moral, and emotional growth evolves around making friends. Establishing this has been shown to assist children in developing good self-esteem and confidence while also acting as a protective shield against all forms of harassment, assault, and bullying.
Allowing your children to choose their circle can be difficult. Understandably, any parent would want to guide their kids towards people who will positively influence their lives. However, allow them to make these decisions for themselves and intervene only when you see fit.
Attempting to separate them from a buddy solely because you dislike the latter, rather than because they can be harmful or that there are significant concerns at stake, will only result in hurting your parent-child relationship. Instead, concentrate your efforts on educating them regarding the kinds of friendships they must seek out and how to be a good friend to others.
The freedom to decorate their space
Providing a safe and stimulating environment for your child to explore, learn, play, and develop can be a pleasurable and challenging experience. After all, creating a pleasant, functional space where they can freely express themselves is an excellent investment for their childhood and beyond.
Children enjoy embracing their individuality in a place they feel the safest. That includes their own little space in your home – their bedrooms. Thus, it’s only fitting that they want to add their personal touch and personality to it.
It could mean painting the walls with their favorite color or decorating them with stickers and pictures of their beloved cartoon characters or superheroes. They may also want to showcase unique items like the awards they got from school, sketches and drawings, or toys.
The freedom to open up about personal matters
Although it may be tempting to persuade your youngster to speak up about their struggles, secrets, and issues they are going through, giving them the freedom to open up on their terms and in their own time is the best approach.
Sometimes, letting them know that you respect their privacy and that you are there to listen anytime they’re ready is enough, especially when your child starts to enter puberty. Support them and avoid giving exaggerated opinions and reactions, especially on sensitive matters.
When children are motivated to accomplish things for themselves, think outside the box, and solve their own problems, they learn to be more confident, responsible, and independent and achieve success. Of course, keeping them safe will always be a parent’s priority.
Thus, when allowing younger children to make decisions, parents must establish firm boundaries that will ease in time. As much as they may want their child’s journey made easy and their needs to be met, they must remember that kids need the freedom to discover things for themselves, face the consequences and eventually learn from them.