Many youth in their early 20s face the ‘independence’ crisis. They’re big enough to do certain things on their own, and still small to be allowed to do some other things. They’re confused. They’re irritated. And more often than not, they understand independence as a power and not as a responsibility. That’s when parents begin to have nightmares.
It must be really tricky parenting a young adult right. But the right foundation of self-dependence, like many other virtues, is built in an individual during the childhood. A grown-up son or daughter won’t have to struggle to become responsible and independent if he/ she was taught how to be self-dependent in childhood.
Here are little things you can do to help your little one grow into a smart, self-dependent and responsible individual:
1. Teach your kids to ride: The importance of being able to ride a bicycle is often underestimated. Ask me, I didn’t learn to ride the bicycle as a kid. I preferred dance and music to sport. The result? Though I am now learning to drive the car, the fear of the road has remained inside me for a very long time, and I still have to depend either on public transport or on friends and family to travel. That’s bad.
Teach your kids to ride the bicycle, and help them enjoy riding. It is a great confidence booster, and gives them a strong and early sense of traffic, control and independence.
2. Teach your kids to be street-smart: Once your kid starts getting a sense of the streets, create opportunities for him to get smarter and feel more responsible and mature. Let him go to the store and buy some bread, or rent some books from the neighbouring library, or take his little pet for a walk. A child yearns for experience, and holding him or her back and waiting until he is ‘old enough’ to go out by himself, is like a thousand learning experiences missed.
3. Teach your kids the value of money: Robert Kiosaki highlights one of the most important aspects of education that is often neglected. Financial education. As 11-12 year old kids, people read more, observe more and are more considerate towards regulations and doing things the right way. If you teach them to spend less and use money wisely as kids, they’ll most likely practice and preach the same good financial habits as adults. And whether you’re aware of it or not, you are their direct point of reference. You set the most compelling and immediate example for your own kids.
Like some wise one said, ‘Don’t worry about the fact that your kids don’t listen to you. Worry about the fact that your kids are always watching you.’