The 4th of July was a couple of weeks ago, but the message of the holiday still rings in the ears. For moms, there is the eternal battle between wanting kids to be independent yet trying to keep them safe. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee either as one impacts the other. By letting them out of your sight, you admit they are a little less safe than when they are under your watchful eye. Even worse, it’s an essential part of growing up! Kids need to understand how to be free, and it should start at an early age.
Here are some tips.
Let Them Get Dressed
When they are babies, they can barely lift their heads, never mind pick out outfits. Let’s face facts and admit this is an awesome part of being a parent. Getting to choose their clothes is so cute, especially when there is no backchat. Thinking of all those gorgeous photos makes mothers everywhere want to melt. However, they are growing up now and need to make decisions for themselves. Picking from their array of toddler outfits in the closet is a nice compromise. It teaches them independence without putting them under undue pressure. All you need to do now is convince them to change from their pajamas.
Let Them Cling
Under the proviso that they need to be less needy, moms usually encourage their kids to try new things. Some will grab the bull by the horns and jump in enthusiastically. Others will shyly hold your hand. The temptation is to push the latter into the class in the hope it brings them out of their shell. It’s a bad move because what looks like timidness is an evaluation. Typically, a child will watch and learn until they are one-hundred percent confident they can do the activity. So, give them space to soak it in and they’ll get involved on their terms.
Be Bedtime Brave
Sleep is essential, yet kids are afraid of the dark. It’s an occupational hazard of being a human, and it doesn’t always go away completely. To get their kids to sleep, moms and dads will lie with them or leave the light on to prove there are no monsters. Although it’s comforting, it’s also fostering dependency, whether to you or the nightlight. The trick is to show them there is nothing to be scared of and let them fall asleep alone. Experts also recommend whispering motivational phrases at bedtime.
Mix And Match
Familiarity creates a sense of safety which kids love. But, they need to try out new situations to move forward in life. A perfect example is socializing. Learning how to make friends is essential and challenging because it’s a different skill and it can be frightening. A neat trick is to mix and match the old with the new and inch them into the process slowly. A savvy mom might set up a playdate with a couple of kids, some familiar and some strangers. By the end of the session, they’ll all be friends.
Is your child independent or is he/she too needy?
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