When the daily struggles of parenting fill much of your time, it can be hard to step back and look at the big picture. But parenting isn’t just about keeping your kids happy and safe today–it also requires you to prepare your kids to have be successful as adults. Here are some tips to help you raise more independent kids.
Let Them Make Their Own Decisions
Kids and teens can be rather clueless at times, and it’s easy to step in and make wise decisions for them. But although this may make everything easier right now, it could hamper their ability to make wise choices in the future. Stepping back and allowing them to make mistakes can be difficult, but it’s better to allow small errors now, when their lives won’t be majorly impacted. The decisions they’ll have to make during adulthood are far more likely to have a life-altering impact, so it’s important to let them learn from their mistakes sooner rather than later.
Encourage Their Passions
If your child shows interest in a certain subject, do your best to encourage and facilitate that passion and guide it in a way that will benefit your child’s life. If it’s a serious passion and something that you find interesting too, then consider immersing yourself in it as well. For instance, if your child has a vibrant interest in history, it might be worthwhile for them to think about getting a history degree online later in life. Take them to museums and living history events, and encourage them to talk to others who have studied various eras of the past.
Lead by Example
When it comes to helping your kids form good habits, your example is incredibly important. From basic hygiene to cell phone habits, to making good financial decisions, your choices will be noticed by your children and are sure to make an impact.
Encourage Critical Thinking
Thinking outside of the box and learning how to innovate can be an incredibly useful skill. Help your child develop this by encouraging them to ask logical questions, search for alternative answers, and request more information when they don’t understand a certain concept or belief. Instead of viewing challenging questions as being annoying or rebellious, realize that they are a sign of independence and critical thinking.
Teach Real-Life Skills
Textbooks and school will teach your child many things, but it’s easy to forget that they’ll need to be shown how to manage certain everyday tasks as well. Show them how to file taxes, pay bills, and apply for insurance. Help them figure out how they should act during unusual or emergency situations, such as identity theft or a vehicle breakdown.
Finally, remember that life involves constant growth. They’ll keep learning and improving even after they’ve passed their eighteenth birthday, and they’ll still benefit from your advice long after they’ve left the nest.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook