Bursting The Bubble: Letting Your Children Make Their Own Mistakes

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One of the biggest anxieties in being a parent is understanding at what point you let your child go, so they can make their own mistakes. As parents, this can feel like a big attack on our wellbeing because we don’t feel equipped to cope with the circumstances that could arise out of our children learning their way in the world. Of course, it’s much easier for us to keep them on a leash, but this isn’t good for them, and it’s not a particularly practical parenting process. Letting your children make their own mistakes is one of the biggest lessons we can learn as parents, but how can we get this into our systems?

Involving Your Child In The Decision Making

The sooner we let our children make decisions for themselves, the likely are they will make mistakes, but the quicker it will be that they learn from them. You can help your children to make decisions, not just by letting them off the leash to do whatever they want, but by providing options for them. For example, if you decide to take a long walk somewhere, whether through a bustling city center or an intimidating area that you seldom go, giving your child two options, and informing them that one will be longer or more arduous can instill in them some form of common sense. If they choose the more difficult option, and they struggle to undertake it, they will have learned a difficult lesson effectively. This is one of the more extreme examples, and depending on their age, you can build up to this by providing them with options when it comes to the clothes that they wear every day or even the food that they want to eat.

Avoid Interfering

It is one of the most difficult things to keep a lid on from our perspective because if we see our children wandering into a dangerous situation, our instinct can be to interfere and to jump in. Of course, this is only if our children are naturally reckless, but so many kids are not. You have to ask yourself the question if, on each individual basis, that your child can handle a specific situation safely. The reason we interfere is not always for the benefit of our children, but it’s to save us from worrying so much. There are so many worst-case scenarios, and there is danger lurking around every corner, but when we think like this, we can easily transfer these anxieties to our children. Accidents and injuries are commonplace, and you only have to look at this website to see exactly the variations of accidents and personal injuries in the world, but when we are exposing our children to certain situations, we have to put some trust and faith in their abilities. If we don’t, our children will grow up feeling that they are incapable of making any decisions by themselves. When our kids are young they want to do things themselves and have no concept of danger, and it’s only when they have an accident or make a mistake that they potentially learn from what they have done. But it is our role as parents to expose them to situations where they can make a sound decision on how best to progress. If they want to climb a tree, and the tree is not swarming with bees and is low enough to the ground that they can climb it safely, why shouldn’t they? But as we have various worries, it’s easier for us to stop them by saying no than it is for them to potentially have an accident. This is our fault as parents, and this is a sure-fire way for kids to grow up feeling sheltered. As parents, we may want the quiet life now and again, but if we are constantly saying “no” to our kids and not letting them feel their way through the world, it’s going to take a long time for them to come out of their shell.

Knowing That It’s Up To Them To Solve Their Own Problems

While we can provide them with the knowledge on how to tackle a situation, when the act of problem-solving comes up, as it does so regularly in life, we have to learn to let them do the majority of these things by themselves. We are the benchmark when it comes to building psychological and emotional makeup in our children, but we let our children do things according to our standards. And if we grew up feeling sheltered and not being allowed to cross the road because it was easier for our parents to say no, transferring this to our children means that the cycle is going to repeat all over again. It’s very hard for us to break this cycle, but if we recognize it, then we can. We all want our children to be balanced but if we restrict our children to satisfy our own needs and wants for a quiet life, don’t be surprised if they grow up asking you for permission for every little thing. We can feel that this sense of power we have over our children can be intoxicating, possibly because we’ve grown up not having any say over anything. But this is incredibly unhealthy and when our children ask us permission for everything, this transfers into an adult with a lot of emotional baggage.

It’s essential that we let our children make their own mistakes in life, but we have to gauge each situation as it comes. This means that we have to muster the energy to problem solve each situation, and then if it’s safe, we let our children navigate through it. Putting trust in our children to make a decision, not just for them, but for us, but also giving our children the time and space to learn these problem-solving skills is something that’s, surprisingly, rare in the modern day. After all, there are so many dangers around every corner, that we feel inclined to protect our children at all costs. But we know, deep down, this doesn’t work in the long run. Let your children make their own mistakes, it may be painful at the time, but it’s for the best.