As a parent in this day and age, it’s challenging to reconcile being laid-back when we know the many dangers in the world that could harm our kids. Most of us would agree there’s a lot out there to fear when your objective is to raise healthy individuals.
But we mustn’t let our fear of the world turn into controlling, uptight parenting. Be assertive about what your kids are up against – after all, it’s your responsibility to keep them safe physically, mentally, and emotionally.
And while it’s natural for parents to hold tight to their children and desire to protect them from everything, sometimes, the very thing you desire for them can begin to work against your relationship. Good-intentioned parenting can quickly turn into fear-mongering control.
I desire to teach parents how to establish a relationship with their teens that, as they begin to independently practice their individuality more and more in a world full of confusion and darkness, you will be the one they confide in, not the one they run from.
By truly understanding your role in their life, you will soon notice that the objective is to prepare them for the world they WILL grow up in, not for the one we WANT them to grow up in. This never includes controlling them or making them do what you want just because you said so. If you’re going to raise robots, this would be your angle.
We cannot control our kids, let alone the world. The sooner you understand your role is to be their teacher, not their controller, the sooner mutual trust will begin to influence your relationship with your teen positively.
Letting Go is the First Step to Laid-Back Parenting
Our kids need us to let go in different ways at appropriate ages. Letting your child go simply means you recognize they are their own person, and you do everything in your power to help them discover their potential. For example, when your child begins to walk, they often learn the fastest by falling. It’s our job to let go and let them fall; otherwise, they won’t recognize they can do it independently. As they continue to mature, it’s beneficial for parents to create opportunities for their kids to make their own decisions and practice independent play to build their self-confidence. The look you see in your child’s eyes when they first do something all by themselves is priceless. These moments are pivotal to your child’s development. This doesn’t mean we leave them to solve every problem that comes their way, but rather, remind them we are there for them if they need us while also encouraging them to think for themselves.
Unfortunately for parents, the teenage years are often the most emotionally wearisome while simultaneously being the most challenging age to let go. As they begin to venture out and make big, sometimes life-changing decisions for themselves, it’s tempting to want to jump in and save them. After all, you’ve been there and done that. But wouldn’t it be amazing if instead of wearing yourself out trying to intervene when they are facing a challenge, they come to you, not because they have to, but because they want to?