Why It’s Important To Not Baby Your Kids

Raising Kids Who Think on Their Own

Last spring, my husband and I taught a parenting class on “Raising Kids In The 21st Century.” I took a risk by asking for input from our kids, ages raising self sufficient kidstwenty-two to fourteen, on what they thought we’re doing right, or wrong, in raising them.

You let us figure things out on our own. You don’t baby us” my nineteen year-old responded.

I smiled when I read his response. I remember hovering over the him many times. But somewhere between toddlerhood and teens, I’m learning to step back and let my kids make decisions.

Taking your hands off your children during the teen and young adult years is a leap of faith. You don’t want your kids to make bad choices. You don’t want them to embarrass you or the family name. You don’t want them to hurt or fail.

But life gives us freedom to choose. I’m learning as you take your hands off of a child appropriately during their development, they learn about life, consequences, and morals from their choices, not yours. It’s better to let them fail and hurt from decisions while you can still guide them and pick up the pieces rather than when they’re on their own and you have no authority or influence over them.

“She’ll figure it out” a friend recently told me as I worried over the upcoming choices my firstborn would have to make as a college graduate. A new parenting phase required me to hear new truth.

Though it was hard to take my hands off, my friend was right. College Grad figured it out. She’s accepted a position in a city, found housing that’s safe and has already made connections.

“Don’t baby us” is important.

But it’s not always easy.

Where do you need to let your children go so they can find their way in the choices that face them as a preteen, teen or young adult? What do you struggle with in taking your hands off your child’s decisions.

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Brenda has a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a BA in education. She's a speaker, freelance writer, author, counselor and teacher who's spent two decades working with and raising teenagers. She's a mom of four, from middle school to young adult, and lives with her family on a farm in Indiana. She writes about life, faith, and parenting beyond the storybook image at Life Beyond the Picket Fence at brendayoder.com.

Brenda Yoder

Brenda has a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a BA in education. She's a speaker, freelance writer, author, counselor and teacher who's spent two decades working with and raising teenagers. She's a mom of four, from middle school to young adult, and lives with her family on a farm in Indiana. She writes about life, faith, and parenting beyond the storybook image at Life Beyond the Picket Fence at brendayoder.com.

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