With the growing push against helicopter parenting, many parents have embraced an opposite extreme called free-range parenting. No matter where you fall on the free range-helicopter continuum, parenting is hard and one of the biggest challenges is letting go of your kids as they get older. And though most parents agree it's a natural part of parenting, many miss out on clues that they should give their child some space. This could lead to coddled children or ones who don't have interest in exploring new things.
When I was younger, my parents operated under a "say yes" mentality. Although they certainly set boundaries for my brothers and I, they also gave us lots of freedom by telling us yes more often than no. Now that I'm an adult, I'm reaping the benefits of their more laid-back approach to parenting. I'm capable of making confident decisions and, aside from the occasional call to my dad when I have a problem with my car, I'm a self-sufficient, well adjusted adult.
Now that I'm a mom, I know that space doesn't come easily in the parent-child dynamic. But as each year passes, my children's need for me lessens and my role as mom evolves. I'm learning right along with every other mom out there that sometimes space is the best thing to can give your children.
It can be hard to know when the right time to give them space is though. Use these tips to better gauge your child's behavior and decide if the letting-go process has begun.