Love 7 min read

You Can't Keep Them From Growing Up

Three behaviors you need to adopt to give your kids the freedom to grow.

Being​ ​a​ ​parent​ ​is​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​most​ ​rewarding​ ​things​ ​you​ ​can​ ​experience.​ ​However,​ ​that satisfaction​ ​will​ ​be​ ​tested​ ​continuously​ ​as​ ​your​ ​child​ ​grows.  
 
And​ ​they​ ​are​ ​going​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​up,​ ​whether​ ​you​ ​are​ ​ready​ ​for​ ​them​ ​to​ ​or​ ​not.  
 
You​ ​may​ ​not​ ​have​ ​a​ ​say​ ​in​ ​them​ ​aging,​ ​but​ ​you​ ​do​ ​have​ ​control​ ​over​ ​how​ ​you​ ​handle​ ​it.​ ​Your ultimate​ ​goal​ ​as​ ​a​ ​parent​ ​should​ ​be​ ​to​ ​​raise​ ​independent​ ​children​​ ​and​ ​to​ ​do​ ​so​ ​you​ ​can​ ​choose to​ ​adopt​ ​behaviors​ ​that​ ​will​ ​allow​ ​your​ ​child​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​into​ ​the​ ​amazing​ ​person​ ​you​ ​know​ ​they are.  
 

1. Don’t​ ​dismiss​ ​their​ ​feelings.

 Sometimes they just need you to listen.(Photo: Sometimes they just need you to listen.)
 
It’s​ ​important​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​that​ ​what​ ​your​ ​child​ ​is​ ​going​ ​through​ ​now,​ ​they​ ​are experiencing​ ​it​ ​for​ ​the​ ​first​ ​time.​ ​It​ ​might​ ​seem​ ​like​ ​a​ ​small​ ​matter​ ​to​ ​you,​ ​having been​ ​there​ ​and​ ​done​ ​it​ ​before,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​is​ ​a​ ​big​ ​deal​ ​to​ ​your​ ​child.​ ​Allow​ ​them​ ​to​ ​feel the​ ​way​ ​they​ ​are​ ​feeling.​ ​Don’t​ ​dismiss​ ​their​ ​emotions​ ​but​ ​show​ ​understanding instead.​ ​Share​ ​similar​ ​stories​ ​from​ ​your​ ​past​ ​with​ ​them​ ​to​ ​help​ ​validate​ ​their experiences.​ ​As​ ​much​ ​as​ ​you’ll​ ​want​ ​to,​ ​they​ ​are​ ​not​ ​asking​ ​you​ ​to​ ​solve​ ​their problems.​ ​Just​ ​be​ ​there​ ​for​ ​them.  
 

2. Treat​ ​them​ ​like​ ​adults.

 They can handle it. (Photo: They can handle it. )
 
One​ ​mistake​ ​most​ ​parents​ ​make​ ​is​ ​not​ ​adjusting​ ​how​ ​they​ ​treat​ ​their​ ​children​ ​to reflect​ ​that​ ​they​ ​are​ ​no ​longer​ ​adolescents.​ ​As​ ​they​ ​grow,​ ​they​ ​should​ ​be​ ​handed some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​responsibility​ ​and​ ​respect​ ​that​ ​adults​ ​command.​ ​Assign​ ​them​ ​a few​ ​tasks​ ​that​ ​they​ ​are​ ​accountable​ ​for​ ​and​ ​let​ ​them​ ​have​ ​ownership​ ​of​ ​them. Grant​ ​them​ ​conditional​ ​freedoms​ ​and​ ​reward​ ​them​ ​with​ ​more​ ​flexibility​ ​when​ ​they prove​ ​themselves​ ​to​ ​be​ ​responsible​ ​young​ ​people. 
  

3. Give​ ​them​ ​the​ ​right​ ​information. 

What do you wish you were taught?(Photo: What do you wish you were taught?)
 
A​ ​very​ ​real​ ​concern​ ​with​ ​letting​ ​your​ ​child​ ​go​ ​is​ ​that​ ​they​ ​will​ ​fall​ ​victim​ ​to​ ​the wrong​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​influences.​ ​While​ ​you​ ​can’t​ ​be​ ​there​ ​to​ ​defend​ ​them​ ​every​ ​moment of​ ​their​ ​lives,​ ​you​ ​can​ ​arm​ ​them​ ​with​ ​a​ ​powerful​ ​tool:​ ​the​ ​right​ ​information.​ ​Pass on​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​sense​ ​of​ ​morality​ ​and​ ​be​ ​truthful​ ​with​ ​them​ ​about​ ​the​ ​dangers​ ​out​ ​in the​ ​world.​ ​Tell​ ​about​ ​the​ ​different​ ​scenarios​ ​they​ ​might​ ​face​ ​(from​ ​peer​ ​pressure to​ ​their​ ​emerging​ ​individuality).​ ​Teach​ ​them​ ​things​ ​you​ ​wish​ ​you​ ​were​ ​taught​ ​as​ ​a young​ ​person.​ ​Most​ ​importantly,​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​they​ ​know​ ​they​ ​are​ ​loved unconditionally.  
 
Though​ ​it’s​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​let​ ​go,​ ​you​ ​have​ ​to​ ​have​ ​faith​ ​that​ ​you​ ​have​ ​done​ ​your​ ​best​ ​to​ ​raise your​ ​child.​ ​You​ ​can’t​ ​keep​ ​them​ ​from​ ​growing​ ​up,​ ​you​ ​can​ ​nurture​ ​the​ ​incredible​ ​person​ ​they become.

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