Its been a few days since I last posted and I'm sorry life have grabbed me by the horns and flipped me over. I upright again and moving on, trotting but doing ok. While struggling to flip back over, I was presented with the question of : When is the right time to push your children out of the nest? This question derived from me allowing my twelve year old daughter and eight year old son, ride their bikes to the store to pick up an item I needed. Hmm.. Now I thought about this one and found it quite difficult to come up with a direct age to kick the child from the nest (home). I feel that this usually requires trial and error and often more error than success. So I decided to tackle the question this way. I believe that the child's readiness for independence is based on the child; however, the preparation for this independence is based on the parents. So you may have a child that ready to be free, but not prepared or a child that not ready for freedom but is prepared for it. Either way this scenario or usually lead to the child free-falling to the ground until it's either saved (self or parent) or splattering (figuratively) when contact is made with the cold hard ground (world). Not the outcome any parent want for their child right? So how can we prevent this? Here are some suggestion
First, we, as parents, must know our children. And I mean really know. If you can't state your child's favorites (and I know they change), what music they like, hobbies and even friends then you don't really know the child. By knowing the interworking of your child, this allows for the correct time for the push them towards independence. If you recall , we start out rearing the child, teaching it how to talk, walk, and even control it's bodily functions (independence). Then when the child's ready you allow for alone time, such as bathing, playing video games, and cell phone. And this increase to allowing social relationships, sleepovers and the dreaded unsupervised dating. But each of those steps leads to independence and provide you a way to gage your child's independence level. If you notice the child is lacking, you provide more opportunities to demonstrate (of course nothing that dangerous ). And when the child is ready, your progress to the next level.
Second, we as parents must always demonstrate our independence as well. The child need to see that we can take care of ourselves. at home, work and within the community. If the child witness your lack of independence than it will learn this and take it as the norm. So stand up for yourself, exert your independence when appropriate and then talk with the child regarding your actions.
Third, lest be honest with ourselves as parent, your children will NEVER be totally independent from you- and that is a good thing. You want your children to always know that they can depend on you as their parents. The relationship between parent an child should graduate to that point. In a successful relationship, that child will understand and respect the parent's role, while feeling a bond that can be described as a friendship. This would have developed during the child's life as the parent slowly let go and allow the child to grow. Allowing for the good and the bad times, (behaviors and all) while supporting the child. Independence will slowly grow until the time will come and you really won't have to push the child, the child will jump and soar away.