As our children grow and get older, it doesn’t stop us from being their parent. We are their parent as long as we live. One of the trickiest things about being a parent is knowing how to parent children that are getting older and their needs change. You don’t love them any less, but it seems that the worries are different and you almost need to love them differently. As hormones start flying around, you are going to clash at some point. I’m sure we can look back at our own lives and remember clashing with our own parents about something. So how can we parent, as our children grow and get older?
Let Them Grow
When you have a baby and toddler, they completely rely on you. They need your help with everything. But as our children get older, then will need our help less and less. Even if we want to do everything for them, we shouldn’t. If they can do something for themselves then they should. Don’t do all of their laundry or drive them everywhere, if they have the means and abilities to do things like that themselves. We will harm our children in the long run if we don’t allow them to learn and grow. They need to learn independence at some point, as hard as it might be for us as their parent.
Allow Them To Make Mistakes
I think that this is one of the hardest things to do as a parent. We have experienced more of life and so can see where they might be going wrong. As much as we tell them, they ultimately need to make their own decisions. Of course, some of those decisions won’t be what we want them to be. But we still have to love our children and help them learn from mistakes. It is also a good idea to stop making excuses for them. If they repeatedly make the same mistake, then don’t justify it. They need to know that what they are doing isn’t right. Their behavior might even need an intervention like an addiction treatment rehab used by families. Sometimes tough love is the way to go; just love them, though.
Just because we are someone’s parent, does not mean that we are perfect. Sometimes we do need to take a step back and say sorry. We might have gone off the handle a few times and got angry with our kids. The important thing is how we deal with it afterward. If we say sorry and apologize, it helps them to learn too. They can see that we are human, and everyone makes mistakes. Don’t be too proud when it comes to parenting your children.
As our children grow and change, so do the boundaries and rules. It is a good idea to meet with our children regularly. Include them in the decision-making about rules and expectations in the home and elsewhere. The rules and boundaries might change as things change, but it should be a joint discussion.