Maria Montessori stated: “The first task of education is to stir up life, but leave it free to develop”. Without a doubt, it is also the most difficult, especially for parents, who often have a tendency to overprotect their children. However, one of the main objectives of education is to develop autonomy and children’s independence. How to achieve it?
1. Don’t decide for them
For children to develop self-confidence, they need to learn to make their own decisions. If parents always decide for them, they will not have the opportunity to develop their tastes or make their own mistakes. As a result, they will become little dependent and insecure. Therefore, it is convenient that from a young age we ask them what they prefer and that, as far as possible, we respect their preferences and decisions.
2. Let them make their own mistakes
Mistakes are not failures but learning opportunities. Every time the child makes a mistake and tries again, he is developing perseverance, he is becoming into a more resilient person. Therefore, we should let children learn on their own, make their own mistakes, and give them help only when they really need it. That is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.
3. Give them obligations
Childhood is a precious stage and should not be characterized by worries and tension. However, that does not mean that parents should not develop responsibility from an early stage . In fact, it is convenient to give children obligations, according to their age and without these representing excessive pressure.
4. Live with them, not over them
In recent years a style of parenting has developed that involves constantly being over children, either organizing their agenda or being excessively overprotective. However, this parenting style is exhausting for parents and overwhelms children. On the contrary, a healthy and developing relationship is one in which everyone enjoys each other’s company and each person’s identity is respected, even if it is a small child.
5. Set a good example
The idea of “do what I say, not what I do” does not work with children. You cannot pretend that little ones do not scream if parents continually raise their voices or not lie if they hear their parents misrepresenting the truth. The key lies in being the person we would like our child to become, we must remember that when it comes to educating in values, examples are worth a thousand words.
6. Set limits
Many parents think that limits are negative, but the truth is that they help children make sense of the world and allow them to feel more secure because they know exactly what is expected of them. Of course, it is not about imposing excessive limits and prohibiting everything, but it is necessary that there are certain rules that guarantee a pleasant coexistence at home.
7. Listen to them
Many parents think that their children have no worries and that their problems are inconsequential. Therefore, they do not pay enough attention to them, which makes children distance themselves and do not trust them. However, it is important to establish a channel of communication that remains permanently open and practice active listening, so that children know that they can always count on their parents.
8. Acknowledge their effort
Beyond the results, parents should value the effort made by the child. This does not mean that results do not count, but sometimes much more is learned through perseverance. Therefore, we must make sure to reward the effort that the child puts into the tasks since in this way we will be promoting tenacity, an essential quality to be successful in life.
9. Apologize when you make a mistake
Apologizing to our children when we make a mistake will not diminish our authority in their eyes, on the contrary, it will teach them to be humble and to recognize their mistakes and correct them. Therefore, it is always convenient to take a step back and try to repair the damage caused by a mistake.
10. Show them that you love them
We should never get tired of telling our children how much we love them. Caresses and hugs should be daily bread at home because children need them almost as much as food. Shows of love should not be conditioned to good behavior or good grades, children should know that their parents love them unconditionally. A loved child will be a happy child and, above all, will become a adult who is not afraid to love.