What is freedom for kids? What does it really mean?
It’s different based on your child’s age, but what helps in raising a child who’s responsible tomorrow is allowing them to do for themselves today.
Let me explain.
For a moment, just think about the first time your child did something for themselves. Maybe it was tying their shoes, making breakfast, getting dressed. These are the times we smile as parents, but also experience a bit of sadness, because they’re doing something we’ve always done for them.
As parents we love our kids and at times it’s hard to let go and give our children the freedom they want to not only do things for themselves, but to make their own decisions.
What does freedom mean to you
What does freedom mean to you as an adult? Think about that for a moment, because children have the same feelings also.
Does freedom mean having someone dictating your every move? Telling you what to wear, how to do your hair, what to eat…? Of course not!
And it’s true for our children, as well.
This is why, as our children get older, we need to slowly let go of the reins and let them take greater control over their lives (within reason, of course). Doing this will teach them to be self-reliant and help them take responsibility for their own lives.
As they face and overcome challenges on their own, they’ll develop the motivation to build on those successes and have the self-confidence to set big goals.
It will also help them understand the consequences of their actions, even around small things. For example, if they decide to eat a bunch of candy one day, they’ll be able to take note of how they feel the next day and, hopefully, avoid that decision next time. But had they been denied the opportunity to make that choice, they may never have made the association between their food choices and the way they felt the day after.
Yes, it’s a simplistic example, but still paints a clear picture of why it’s important to, as kids get older, allow them to have more and more freedom in their decisions (again, within reason).
Conclusion: What Is Freedom for Kids
As parents, it’s hard to let go and watch our children grow up. It’s sad when we see them doing for themselves things what we used to do for them.
But it’s part of the process of raising independent, self-assured children.
By loosening the reins and letting our children take more ownership over their lives, we’re letting them incrementally experience more freedom and take responsibility for their own decisions, both the good and the bad. We’re also teaching them to overcome obstacles and develop the motivation and confidence to build on their wins.
Is there an area of your child’s life where you know you need to loosen the reins but haven’t? Let us know in the comments below!