As a parent, it’s far too easy to want to hold your children close and never let them go. However, independence is a crucial aspect of growing up and developing into a healthy and happy adult, which is why as a parent, it’s vital that you take the time to consider the ways that you can help your children to become more independent.
Believe it or not, while letting your child be more independent might seem scary, it can actually be hugely beneficial to your child’s sense of self esteem and their success in later life. The fact is that if you make your child feel that they aren’t capable of achieving certain things, it will have an impact on their self-esteem and confidence.
Of course, knowing what steps you should take to give your child the independence that is appropriate for their age, can be tricky and also extremely daunting. To help you to determine what you can do to boost your child’s independence at various ages, check out the below guide.
A great way to encourage your child to form independent relationships outside of the family home is to organise a playdate for them at a friend’s house. This could either be a playdate at a school friend’s house or at a neighbour’s house. If you’re worried that your child may struggle, consider having the playdate somewhere close to home in case things go wrong and your little one needs you.
Primary school age
Once your child reaches primary school age, this is the perfect time to organise a sleepover at a friend’s house, to help push your child’s independence even further and boost their confidence. If your child is used to sleeping over at relative’s houses, then a sleepover at a friend’s house should not be an issue for them.
Secondary school age
Once your child is of secondary school age, it’s important to increase their independence further, as adult life grows closer.
Allowing them to walk to and from school on their own, or to get the bus to and from school is an important step to take. If you’re worried about safety, arm them with a mobile phone and talk to them about staying safe.
By the time your child is 16, you should be thinking about how you can further their independence, and help them transition into adult life. One option could be to book them in for driving lessons Worcester on a crash course or for single lessons. Driving is a key life skill and one that is certain to give their confidence a major boost.
Perhaps you could also consider leaving them home on their own for one night, while you are away? If you’re nervous about this, then you could simply stay at a hotel just down the road, to ensure that if they need you, you are only a short drive away.
Giving your child some independence is not an easy step to take, but it’s one that as a parent you need to be prepared for.