“Each day, you will become a bit wiser and more sure of yourself, you will fly farther and farther from the nest … until one day you spread your wings and soar, finding your own direction.”
[Excerpt from Hello Little Owl]
When we are babies, we are very dependent upon our parents to take care of us. Parents set certain boundaries for children at each stage of growing up … most of the time these boundaries are set to protect us from getting hurt. It isn’t long however until we try to exert our independence.
We want to explore and try to do things our own way without direction from others. It is how we learn and grow. It is how we establish ourselves as individuals, giving each of us our own identity.
Hearing the Word “No”
Growing up we hear NO often. NO you may not have another cookie; you will feel sick. NO TV until your homework is done or you will get in trouble with your teacher.
Kids, your parents look after you closely because they love you and don’t want you to come to any harm, so it’s important to listen and learn. They have experienced most of the daily challenges that you are now encountering.
Parents, I think it is important to “pick our battles” when trying to raise our toddler, pre-teen or teen-ager. As long as their curiosity doesn’t put them in physical danger we should let our children “fly a little farther from the nest.” Each self-learned experience makes them wiser about the world around them. Sometimes, being over protective is detrimental to a child’s self-confidence, hindering social skills and sometimes leading to rebellious behavior. Letting our children know we trust them gives them a feeling of responsibility and self-reliance, key ingredients of being independent and successful.
Independence is a beautiful thing!
Questions to Think About …
- Can you remember things you tried to do at a very young age to establish your independence?
- Are you frustrated now at not being able to exhibit your ability to do something that your parents think is unwise? It’s important to consult your parents before doing something knowingly that could be harmful to you or others. Perhaps they can help direct you to a safer way of accomplishing your objective.