Yesterday I wrote about overprotective parents who give guidelines to their children for each little detail of their lives. It keeps them from making their own decisions and taking their responsibility. What happens however when parents do the exact opposite? When they don’t give any guidance at all?
The result is clear: they go wild and are uncontrollable already in their early teenage. If you are not there to restrict and control them in those areas where they need it, they will definitely try out everything they can. And if you don’t support them with guidance in important questions, they will not learn to respect you. They have to do everything on their own, if you leave them to it. Of course they will learn quickly but maybe not in the way you would like them to. There are several areas of life in which children need restrictions, limits, control and also help in taking decisions. You cannot leave them fully to themselves, even in their teenage, when they seem old enough. They may already have grown taller than you in size but they have not made that much experience yet.
Until a certain age children need someone to keep an eye on how they utilize their free time. Their minds are not fully developed yet and they don’t have enough experience to decide what is right and what is wrong. They could find something to do which is dangerous but which they think of as interesting and adventurous. Especially in this modern time of internet and technology they have a lot of possibilities even from their home. There are video games, many of which are very violent and not suitable for them, and there are many ways they could even start gambling online. Take care of what they do in their free time and on the computer.
At home you can make rules as to what to do and what not to and they are very important but what about the time when they are out with friends? When they are not in your immediate reach? You don’t really have control in that time, so what if your 11-year-old boy sees older and much cooler guys smoking and drinking and decides that he also wants to smoke?
Then, too, you have to have a very clear decision as a parent and give a clear guideline for him not to touch cigarettes or alcohol. This education starts already before he spends more time outside with friends. Give your child clearly the instruction that tobacco and alcohol are off limits. Otherwise your child will become one of them. It has become quite normal these days to see children of that age smoking on the road, boys and girls alike. You, the parents, have to control your children. It is your responsibility and you shape their future by giving such limits. Don’t think that you are helpless. You are not. They live in your home and you are the parents. Make clear from the beginning that you are the one to set the rules and you want your children to stick to those rules. It may be difficult sometimes to stay strict but it is necessary.
As a parent, you have to be in balance and provide balance to your offspring. Children need freedom but at the same time there are some rules that the small ones need to follow. You have to set limits and boundaries for both, yourself and your children. For your child, this means a clear set of rules for things that it is supposed to do and not to do and freedom in other areas where it can develop and make its own experience. And for you this means that you give yourself a guideline for how much will you interfere in your child’s life. Stop yourself when you do too much and also stop yourself when you leave them too free and without limits. Keep the balance for you and your child.