Updated: May 17, 2020
As much as we don’t like to think about it, every day our kids get a day older, and every day is another step to their future independence from us.
But I wonder if we are letting them find the confidence in themselves to be independent on that day? At times, I know I’m guilty of holding on too tightly; of holding them back if they want to run too far ahead or explore beyond my normal. I’m trying more recently to loosen the reigns. I’m even stepping back and letting them make mistakes (within reasonable safety) and finding consequences or solutions on their own.
I don’t want to be my child’s dictator; I want to be their guide. Yes, I know sometimes life requires hard "No's," but sometimes I think it's okay to let them figure out things. To find out how people tick, how the world works, and what makes things “dangerous.” In my opinion, there is no better way to learn and become confident than to do some things on your own.
I step in if things are getting out of control or if I see nothing positive emerging, but sometimes they surprise me on what they figure out alone. Not only that, but what they own up to as their own choices and their own consequences or successes.
By stepping back, I’m letting them figure out life with a safety net of Mom or Dad behind them. I’m giving them little chances to build their confidence so as they grow they won’t feel lost. They are figuring out how to own up to their own problems and figure out the solutions. Hopefully, because they have done it all in a controlled and safe environment, they will be confident in who they are and the choices they make and will make.
As a parent, I'm raising confident little problem solvers who can bring amazing things to any table. Whether it's college, the corporate world, entrepreneurship, being a stay-at-home parent, or any place they later find themselves, they will be one step closer to being prepared and equipped to handle what life throws their way.