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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Even though parents would sometimes prefer it if their child remained under their wing forever, they know that at one point kids have to grow up and set out in the world on their own. While this moment is anticipated with great fear and apprehension, it is also one of the proudest moments that we are able to experience, but only if we did a good job of helping our child form into an independent and competent person capable of tackling every challenge that the world throws at them. In order to ensure this we must sometimes do things that go against our natural protective instincts, and let our children experience the world for themselves. Here is some advice on how you can help your child grow up to be a self-sufficient, independent adult.

Let Them Make Decisions

Decision making is one of the essential skills for any human being. It requires a fair deal of confidence and a willingness to make risks. While your child is still growing up you can nurture this ability by allowing your child to make decisions for him or herself. While the child is still in the early infancy these decisions shouldn’t be anything major. As a matter of fact, a handy trick is to offer your kid a choice between two equally adequate solutions and let him or her make the final decision. As the child grows older and more aware, you should start doing this with bigger and more important decisions.

Enlist Child’s Help

Getting your child to help out with a household job like sorting the plumbing or something to that effect can have a very positive influence on child’s development. By asking for help, you are acknowledging his or her worth and showing that you are able to entrust them with important tasks. You will also help your child develop a new skill that may have seemed intimidating before, and there is no better way of boosting someone’s confidence than actually expanding their knowledge. Don’t be stingy with praise when your child offers valuable input, and be patient and forgiving when they make a mistake answering with constrictive criticism instead of disapproval.

Let Your Kids Deal with Their Problems

Naturally, this advice is to be taken with a grain of salt, as sometimes an intervention from a parent is the only reasonable course of action. It can be difficult to determine when you should leave your children to their own devices and when to step in and sort everything out, especially considering the strong protective instincts that parents have. However, if you always help your child, even with the most minor inconveniences, you are running the risk of having them turn to you whenever they face a challenge and never learn to deal with issues on their own. Naturally, your child should not feel like it is not loved or cared for, and the really important issues will have to be taken care of by the parents, but just try and figure out if your child is capable of solving the problem on their own before stepping in.

Emily is a mother to two wonderful children and a wife to a plumber from Sydney. She loves traveling, writing and taking her girls wherever they can get to.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their children to grow into independent adults.