Let Your Kids Struggle So They'll Be Independent

Parents Let Go To Raise Independent Kids

Summer break is officially over. Kids across the Triad started school this week. And, of course, parents, you want to help your kids adjust as much as you can. But, can too much help be a bad thing? 

You’re the fixer of all things in your kid’s life – whether it’s a broken bike or a broken heart. You love your kids and you want to help them. But, too much helping can interfere with your kid’s independence and their ability to figure out life on their own.

And I know how hard this is because I’m a mom. I have two kids: a daughter who’s in 10th grade and a son who’s in 7th. When they find themselves in jams, I want to jump in and pull them out. It’s hard to sit back and let your kids struggle when you know the answer and you have the quick fix.

But, what are you teaching your kids when you do that? You’re sending silent messages that they’re not capable. That you don’t have confidence in their ability to get themselves out the pickles. You’re teaching them to not think for themselves and to rely on others to fix their problems. 

A harsh reality of life is that you’re not always going to be around. The best way to prepare your kids for a success is to let them struggle a little bit with you monitoring from a distance. This means that you teach them the skills that you think are important for their success - like people skills, how to solve problems and think about consequences before they act. Then you let them go. See how they figure out life and yes, you can come to their rescue when it’s necessary.

And in those moments when you want to jump in, know that you are helping them when you let them to figure it out on their own. Watch their confidence soar because they know they can succeed on their own.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this hot topic. You can find me on Twitter at @blancacobb. Use the hashtag #Blanca On 2. Or, you can email me at bcobb@wfmy.com. You can also find me on my facebook page.

Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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