Like the Adults: Four Tips To Help Your Child Feel More Grown Up

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It's hard to watch your child grow up, seeing her choose a grown-up dress for her first party, or browse men’s watches with him because he’s outgrown his first watch. But it's also important to accept that your children will become adults, and give them a helping hand along the way.

There's no rule book for being a parent; the only real experience we have is our own childhood and to use that experience to help your child make the same journey you did. We need to let them be themselves.

Help them with their choices

A huge part of developing an identity involves clothing choices. A child's sense of style and taste is an intrinsic part of them, and always has been: since she threw her first tantrum because she didn't want to wear that dress, her tastes have been shaping the type of person she is.

So it’s important to respect your child's clothing tastes, even if what they’d like to wear is different to your own personal taste. It's fine to steer them in a particular direction or occasionally put your foot down, but allow them to make their own choices as much as you can.

Let them make mistakes

It's hard to watch your kid stumble, and even harder not to help them get back onto their feet again. But at a certain point, they must learn to solve problemsand make their own mistakes so they can learn from the consequences of their choices. Of course you'll always be there to help them if you're needed, but it's important to step back sometimes and trust that they can pick themselves up and carry on.

Give them responsibilities

Your child needs to learn that they can take care of important things, and that you trust them to do this. It might be tricky for you, but give them more responsibilities and chores: let them feed the dog for a week, or give them responsibility for caring for the house plants. If you show that you have faith in your child, he or she will step up to meet the challenge.

Step back

You'll be surprised at how easy it can be to allow your children to grow up, and even give them a helping hand along the way. It's hard for you to let go and step back, but it's also important to relinquish some control gradually, until they're doing it all by themselves.

So let your children choose their own clothes, make their own mistakes, fix their own problems and take care of their own responsibilities. Take it slow at first, and know that it might be difficult but you're helping your child feel more grown up and responsible with every passing day.

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12 comments

  1. This is such wonderful advice!

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  2. Even though my daughter is 18, I still have a hard time letting her make her own mistakes. I know it's part of having her accept responsibility but as a parent it's a lot harder than you think it will be even when they're adults. I finally understand how my mom felt when we kids screwed up when we were grown up, and she wanted (and sometimes did) step in to help or fix things, I always felt she was 'favoring' my brother but now I completely get it.

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  3. What a good idea to give them responsibilities and to step back. They'll never learn if we do everything for them...but it's hard when they don't do it they way you would :P

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  4. This is all great advice. It's hard sometimes but we do nee to let them make some mistakes. It's how we all learn.

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  5. They won't spread their wings if we don't give them room to do so! It's hard though, but it's so important.

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  6. Letting them make their own mistakes is so hard for me. I want to shield them and protect them as much as I can.

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  7. My kids have dressed themselves for a while now. Sometimes it's funny what they wear, but most of the time it's ok. They also all have their own household chores, which we've been a little lax about recently, but we will be buckling down on those soon.

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  8. Love this, my son wants to be a man and he is only 5..great tips.

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  9. It's so important to let them be independent and make mistakes. Doing everything for them teaches that they can't do it without you. It's hard as a parent to see them struggle or do things that we know are mistakes, but that's how they will learn.

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  10. I need to step back more and allow my son to make mistakes... a tough one for me. Sigh.

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  11. I love these tips! All three of my children have their own set of chores and responsibilities. I want to show them you must work for what you have at an early age.

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  12. It's hard to step back sometimes, great reminders!

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