One of the great objectives of parents in the education of their children is that they develop their autonomy. They are taught to be responsible and encouraged to be independent.
As children grow and acquire skills, the little ones will seek freedoms that they did not demand before. This will become a challenge for both families and educators. Conflicts between parents and children appear from preadolescence, but above all they will occur in adolescence, this being the most complicated stage. It is a very common question among parents: how much freedom to give children?
The educational style used by parents is key to establishing limits within which children can move safely. Being authoritarian or permissive will be relevant for the relationship between parents and children due to the degree of vigilance that parents establish in front of their children to set the “margins” of their freedoms.
It is important that from the early stages the autonomy, negotiation and responsibilities of the child are promoted by establishing clear rules and limits to minimize conflicts that occur in adolescence in the search for freedom. Limits must be set with clear and specific instructions. In addition, reasonable options must be given to youngsters, since when there are several choices they are more willing to accept advice.
When giving freedom to children, parents should bear in mind that to grant permits must be done progressively. That is, give them to them as the children demonstrate that they are capable of meeting the demands. When children violate established and negotiated agreements for permission to be given, these can be suspended by the parents. Thus the children will learn to properly manage the freedoms granted.
In addition, parents must gradually form the criteria of their children so that they distinguish between different situations and prevent them from risks. The greatest responsibility as parents is the health and protection of children. The child needs to know that parents forbid certain activities and options because they threaten this safety. For example, if the parents deny a request to their 7-year-old son that they do not consider appropriate for the stage of life in which he is, this refusal to be clear and not by imposition. The child will be angry because they do not allow him, but when he is older he will appreciate it.
As the child's level of maturity increases, From the early stages, parents can give it greater independence. Parents can talk to their children about the consequences of their decisions. Help them understand that there are good and bad decisions and that knowing the difference between one and the other can make for the future.
Parents have to find a balance between the imposition of the rules and the excessive permissiveness of their actions. The best is guide the children without controlling them, without overprotecting them, letting them make their own mistakes solving their own problems and making their own decisions. Thanks to this they develop the necessary skills to find the autonomy that will give them freedom.
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