By Ranjani Sastry,
How can I give more freedom to my child?
As parents, we expect our children to share their innermost feelings, their joys and their disappointments with us. But more often than not, as our children get into their teen years, we realize that they may not be upfront with what they are up to. They may want to share more with their friends than with you or they may get more introverted.
Is it possible that they are behaving so because you haven’t given them enough freedom? Perhaps, they are afraid that you may disapprove of their choices or their friends. Perhaps they are hesitant of being judged by you. If so, it is time to change track in your parenting style.
Being a parent means walking a fine line between being your child’s best friend and confidante and at the same time gently guiding them towards making prudent decisions and following a righteous path. We definitely want them to confide in us more than anything else, at the same, they should still look up to us as a parent and a role model.
Coming back to your point though… Are your children not confiding in you completely? My answer to that is “let it be”. Even you do not share everything about yourself with them or with the world. Being a parent is an evolving role. A child needs a different kind of parent at every age. When she is a mere baby, she needs us to feed her, clothe her and soothe her when she needs to sleep. As she gets into toddler-hood and early childhood, she needs our fingers to hold on to as she learns to walk, she needs a shoulder to rest her head on when she is tired, to teach her right from wrong. As your child gets into her teenage years, though she may not ask for it openly, she needs our help as a parent to grow into a mature and confident individual.
First understand that textbook concepts do not work with parenting. You need to be spontaneous and go with the flow. There is no right or wrong style of parenting. You need to be attuned to your child’s verbal or non-verbal cues to gauge what your child needs from you.
Be open to forgiving your child for their missteps. Sometimes you will see your child making a mistake. You may advise them against it but they may not listen. Understand it and accept it that they need to make that mistake to learn a lesson that they will never forget. Let your child know that you will always love her and she can always come back to you. When your child was first learning to walk, she may have fallen and hurt herself several times till she got a hang of it. Just like you picked her up when she fell down, kissed her bruised knees and encouraged her to try one more time, you need to be there for her when she falters in her teen years.
Moral of the story: if you are happy and comfortable in your shoes, as a parent, your child will open up to you on her own.
About the Author:
Ranjani Sastry has done her graduation in Psychology and diploma in Counseling and skills. Currently, Ranjani is pursuing her Masters in Public administration. She is a co-founder and an active member of ‘Satori-let’s not yawn’*, a multilingual literary club based in Ahmedabad. She expresses her passion and compassion through reading, writing and involving herself in areas where she can contribute to personal growth. Her friends describe her as ‘if you meet her you will find someone who thinks out of the box and ideas galore’. Presently she is reading ‘I have a Dream’ by Ranshmi Bansal.
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