As parents, we must allow our children to be more independent. They can only be so, if we give them some breathing space. They must learn to fall and pick themselves up. If we always hold their hand, they will remain in a protected shell, and will never be able to achieve. Be more like a coach and less like a captain. So, Draw a Path–Let Them Lead
“The path of development is a journey of discovery that is clear only in retrospect, and it’s rarely a straight line.” ― Eileen Kenned
Know where your child is. If you allow your child the freedom, he will be open with you and share where he is. If your child is going for a movie, find out which film and which theatre. Don’t pass judgment unless it is a ‘strictly for adults’ film. The more you trust children, the more responsible they will be.
Give them space
There is also another aspect of this ‘hanging-out with friends’. The events become too much and too frequent. Act quick but cautiously. If they are spending too much time away from home, get them to bring their friends over. But once they are at home, please give them their space and don’t hang around or eavesdrop.
Talk with them
Children today have the greatest ‘guru’ of all-the internet. Hence they have access to more information than one can imagine. Under such circumstances the best option would be to keep an ‘open mind’ with them. Healthy dialogue is the age-old solution.
Decision making with regard to the child’s welfare is usually one-sided. Parents like to decide for their kids. Today children are much more aware and worldly wise. Involve them in your decision making, especially if they are affected by the outcome.
Let them decide
Decision making may sound simple and just be something as easy as a yes or no. Yet your child must be made aware of the fact that whatever decision she takes will not only affect her but also the others around.
Encourage a fixed routine
Encourage children to have a fixed routine-from the time they wake up to the time they retire for the day. Discuss the benefits of such a routine. For example, suggest that following a routine would help make the child understand the essence of time management.
Treat them as special
Every child is unique. Don’t compare them to other children or to their siblings. That’s the biggest blow to self esteem. Not everyone can be a Sachin Tendulkar. Your child can also be one of the other ten cricket players in the Indian Cricket team. Every child has a special talent. Search it out and help cultivate it.
Children must be applauded for goals achieved and target met. Yet one must be cautious not to introduce a carrot and stick policy within the relationship. Sit them down and explain to them when they have erred. Teach them by example.
Know their friends
Make sure you know who their friends are. Don’t be judgmental. Invite them over, get to know them.
Be a friend
Listen to your ward. Let them know from the start that they can come to you with anything and you will not judge them. During adolescence and puberty they undergo so many changes. Many a time they cannot handle them and need a sympathetic and understanding ear. Be that friend to them!
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