There is a thin line between two concepts that put parents at a crossroads: independence and safety. While it is important to encourage independence in children at an early age, ensuring their safety still remains a priority.
Most middle-aged children today will voice out their desire to do things according to their own will. This is a positive sign for their personality development, but parents should also recognise the different risks of giving them the privilege to have their own way with things.
Doing some research about this using materials such as online books will help you gain a better understanding. By knowing more on the right approach of letting them be independent and safe at the same time, you are also improving your relationship with your child.
Giving your child some sort of independence will vary based on certain factors, including age. If you plan to start early, there are age-correspondent activities that promote independence. Teaching your child how to ride a bike is a great example, but this should be done by children when they turn eight and above.
However, this can be postponed for a few more years if your neighbourhood is near a busy intersection or the school is too far away.
You can still let your child ride a bike safely by giving a specific route that is familiar to both of you. Create a map that you can easily show to your child. This should contain details such as pedestrian lanes, blind corners and steep curves. And do not let them go out without wearing ant safety gear. If you still feel anxious, you can tag along by riding a bike yourself.
This will not only strengthen your bond, but also show your kid how responsible biking is done.
By the time they get older, it is important to tackle the issue on dealing with strangers on a larger scale. “Raise the subject when he is three and could get separated from you in a shopping mall or other busy place,” said Anita Gurian, a psychologist with the New York University's Child Study Center. Increase the level of importance of not speaking with unfamiliar people by giving examples.
Some of this scenarios would include people asking children for directions.
Explain to them that adults would not ask a kid for this kind of information. In case this happens, instruct your child to seek help from a police officer. Tell them that it is okay to scream at strangers or ignore them when they feel scared or uncomfortable. You can make this into a worthwhile activity by acting out different scenarios. In this way, you should be able to convey a clear message on avoiding strangers.
Children should not misinterpret your approval on the idea of giving them independence. By approval, this should mean on certain conditions.
that you are striking a balance between their safety and personal growth.
An effective way of communication would serve as your main weapon in giving children the independence they deserve without compromising
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