Nobody knows instantly how to be a parent. Experiments start from the very moment when someone makes the decision to have a child and continue all life. Sometimes though, overwhelmed parents forget the main purpose of parenthood and this is not favorable for their children.
This is a small but significant thing to remember while you are raising kids – parent’s most important function is to create a functional individual out of his/her indefensive child.
Internet and this article in particular won’t show you exactly how to achieve it. During your children’s childhood you will experiment and try many options depending on their temperament, your ambitions and the circumstances. But the purpose of all these experiments is still the same, don’t forget it.
It is important to put rational effort in encouraging your kid’s independence. Even when you think that he/she is still too young to make it on his/her own. Sometimes you will see that it is time to let it go, but you will feel the constant need to help and protect. It is important to remember that this is impossible.
We feed our children so they learn to do it themselves. We love them so they can learn how valuable they are and that they deserve love from other people too. We teach them values so they can take their own conscious decisions one day. None of these parental functions is causality they all have the same purpose – helping kids grow. None of them is meant to last forever.
For instance, for the newborn you are the whole universe. It can’t survive without you and you perform all the vital tasks for it until the kid grows enough to eat and dress by itself. At this point it would be ridiculous if you keep doing the same, because your kid needs different kind of care. You don’t do for your child the things that he/she can do alone.
Soon you will be giving to your kid certain responsibilities and you will focus on establishing moral and intellectual support rather than physical care. You shouldn’t take a step back. At the age of 14 your teenager should be able and willing to cope with all possible housework this will prepare him/her to live alone after just a few years. The only difference in your child’s responsibilities and yours will be that you are still in charge when it comes to earning money, ant yet you should encourage him/her to start taking up small jobs during the vacations in order to learn how to manage budget.
On the other hand, your child is not your servant. You can’t just give orders. This won’t help you make your kid more independent. Every time when he/she is able to understand a situation in which a decision should be made, you should involve him/her in the decision taking and consider his/her arguments. Your job is to create environment in which your kid has both – rights and responsibilities.
I am tired of hearing how mothers of 30-years old “kids” are exhausted because their children don’t know how to cook for themselves or clean their rooms, let alone job searching and moving out. Hyper protective parenting could lead to serious issues and they are not only related to house work and professional development. Overly protected children can’t take care of their emotional states, can’t learn from their inevitable mistakes and can’t cope with rejection.
For this and many other reasons don’t forget that your one and only important purpose as a parent is to do your best to create an independent and mature individual. Everything you do is somehow a part of it.
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