Increasing Your Child's Freedom
One of the hardest parts of parenting is knowing when to let go. As children grow up, coddling can not only lead to tension between parents and children, but also hamstring their development. On the other hand, granting liberties too soon can lead children to make mistakes or miss important development stages. In this complicated environment, how do you know when to start giving your child more freedom?
Watch how they act
Ideally, granting a child more leniency depends on them, not you. Watch them for signs of an increased desire for independence - and an ability to handle it once they have it.
"I'm a big believer in following your child's lead," psychologist Robi Ludwig told Care.com. Incrementally increasing freedom - and then pausing to see how it plays out - is a good way to see when your child is ready for certain things. If you stop monitoring homework completion and you hear nothing about slipping performance from your child's school, you probably gave them the right amount of liberty, according to Ludwig.
Spending the night away
For younger children, setting up sleepovers can be a good way to encourage independence. Although there will be supervision at a friend's house, it won't be you, which will allow your child to feel like they're a little more on their own. Discussing how the night went with the parents of your child's friend will grant you insight into how they deal with a little loosening of the leash.
Similarly, sending your child to sleepaway camp can help bolster their confidence within structured boundaries. Having your child surrounded by others going through a similar process can help provide them with support and learn to adapt slowly to the process.