How being a mindful parent can help kid’s independence
Yesterday was Mother’s Day in my part of the world and it got me thinking about a variety of mothering issues that we all face. One of them is how much we should do for our kids?
As a mother I would say that I did too much for my children, going in to bat for them when problems arose. Looking back I wonder why? Maybe it was based on protecting them from pain but maybe also it was a better reflection on me if they were successful and didn’t stumble. Ouch!
In the long run experiencing pain and being allowed to live their own lives, mindfully being in their own moment, living the experiences they are meant to live, teaches them resilience and self-reliance which are big factors in building self-confidence.
I was once asked by a friend how to build self-confidence in children. As a former early childhood teacher who had studied child psychology perhaps they thought I had the answers. For my own children I think It would have been more helpful if I was more mindful to paying attention to where they were in their own life journey to independence and to allow them to find their own answers more often and to suffer the consequences of their own choices.
Now I’d answer my friend’s question by saying trusting them to deal with their own lives from as early an age as possible is really important – be the mindful parent and watch for when you can comfortably ‘look on’.
That definitely does not mean we start ignoring our kids – it’s just the opposite! We pay a lot of mindful attention to what they are doing and what stage they are at but then letting them make choices or even ignoring choices but living the consequences themselves rather than us trying to protect them and to dictate what happens in their story!
And that can be really challenging – believe me I know!