This Mom realized that it was high time she gave her child some Freedom!
Ever since your children were born, you have been doing everything for them and now is the time to let them do stuff on their own. Adolescence is the age when kids should be given the chance to behave responsibly. If you handle everything for them, you are robbing them of the skills they need to develop for being independent. Here are a few tips to help you determine your teen’s freedom.
Set Clear Rules and Consequences
Make rules and see to it that they are followed by encouraging responsible behavior but follow up with set consequences if the rules are broken. However, don’t spoon-feed them through the process at all times and let them practice their own skills, offering guidance whenever needed. Allow them the freedom to make mistakes and to make poor choices but make them bear the consequences as well. Doing so, they will learn better and achieve more.
Steps that Verify Levels of Independence
You or your kids may think that they are ready for more freedom, and that’s a good sign but you should run an experiment to verify that. Add one more responsibility along with an additional privilege to their current ones. If they prove themselves trustworthy by demonstrating that they can handle both, responsibility and the new privilege, consider them ready for more, sooner. If they fail, return to the previous ones and wait until you try this experiment yet again.
Here are a few ideas of freedom you could allow your teen kid, considering their previous independence levels:
- Choose when they could do their home-work or run errands
- To visit a friend/ relative unsupervised
- To go shopping or to a cafe unsupervised
- Increasing their curfew time by half an hour
- Work part-time
- Ask them to call you at a decided time rather than you calling them
- More freedom with friends
These steps will not only boost your kid’s confidence but will increase your confidence in them too. Although, make sure your kids follow rules and bear the consequences if they fail. Increase or decrease their responsibilities and privileges as per what and how much they can handle.
Help your kid develop one of the most necessary skills – decision-making by following these tips:
- Include kids in simple family decisions which implies you value their decision.
- Let them learn the decision-making process, let them weigh the pros and cons
- Teach them ways to consider options
- Making a back-up plan just in case things don’t go according to plan
A Word of Caution
Each teen is an individual and it will take a while for every parent to find the right amount of independence necessary as excess freedom can cause harm. A relationship of trust and honesty is vital between parents and children and is the key to the child’s overall development.
- Sheetal Bidaye
- June 9, 2017
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