As parents, we all worry about our children 24/7. As soon as they are born, we want to watch over their every movement. This is completely natural. The more control we have over our children, the less likely they are to find themselves in trouble, hurt or upset. But at the same time, it’s so important for kids’ to understand independence and their confidence boosted while making their own decisions.
So how do we go about keeping our kids safe and sound while simultaneously allowing them their freedom?
We are all tempted to hold our child’s hand at all times when out in public. Who can blame us? We don’t want them to wander off or become lost, and we’re always on high alert when it comes to strangers engaging with our children. But an age will come when our child requests that they don’t hold our hand. If possible, allow your child to walk independently. This may be difficult, especially if you have more than one child to keep an eye on. But it is important that you respect your child’s wishes for this small piece of independence. When the time comes, try visiting low footfall areas with your child walking freely. This will reduce stress and pressure, as they are less likely to wander off into crowds and you will be able to see them at all times. You can also do things gradually. If you are in the mall, for example, you can allow your child to let go of your hand but request that they keep one hand on the shopping cart instead. This will ease you both into walking independently.
School trips are daunting. You have to be confident in allowing your children to experience a new environment without your supervision. School trips are always educational and hugely beneficial for your child. Some will take place close to home: local museums, parks, and tourist sites. Others may be further afield: computer science school trips to berlin or water sports trips to the coast. It is important that your child experiences new places and come across alternative cultures in their lives. They will feel a sense of responsibility and independence when going on this trips with their friends instead of family. Rest assured, they will be supervised at all times by qualified staff, so there’s little to worry about.
A day will come when your child returns from school and asks if they can sleep over at a friend’s house. You may be reluctant but all will be well. Go and introduce yourself to your child’s friend’s parents and arrange a playdate beforehand to feel settled. Ensure that they are aware of any of your child’s dietary requirements, medication or allergies that they will need to be aware of. Arrange a drop off time and pick up time. It’s okay to be worried. But your child will have a brilliant time and be so thankful for the night of freedom.
What tips would you ad?