Giving children a fighting chance…..

by Rod Smith

The Mercury – Wednesday

Freely give your children a fighting chance… – note to self –

Let them off the hook of being the constant focus of your attention. Maintain a life that both includes and excludes them. Do this for the good of all. Parent your child for you child’s wellbeing, not for your own.

Babies need space. Build it into your daily parenting routine.

Children thrive with freedom. Structure hours of it. Make it as essential as healthy food.

Cramped, stifled, or smothered teens will demand opportunities for independence. If they don’t have it, they will kick against anything and anyone to get it. Tough as it may be, make freedom easy for your child so he or she never has to fight for it.

Young adults will flee, if it is necessary, to find the room to become self-sustaining and interdependent. Expect it. Welcome it. Facilitate it. Celebrate it. Do this and the inevitable journey of becoming fully adult will be as much a pleasure for you as it is for young adults.

It’s better to accommodate, facilitate, and celebrate, every person’s natural urge for space and freedom and autonomy, before it becomes a tug-of-war. Before it gets ugly. Before feelings are hurt and relationships are unnecessarily damaged.

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