Almost from the time your child is a toddler she craves independence. From the first time she cries, "NO!" to the time she asks to take the car for a solo trip to the mall, a parent wonders how much freedom is too much.
By laying the groundwork for responsible behavior early, you can find a comfort level in allowing independence as your child grows older.
Helping your toddler become independent
In the beginning, the choices are simple. Fostering independence in a toddler is as easy as:
Helping your school-age child become independent
By the time your child reaches school, there will be other demands for independence. Help her test the waters by:
Helping your "tween" become independent
Once your child is a "tween" – between the ages of 9 and 13 – she will begin to develop her own sense of identity and desire more independence. Unfortunately, she might be caught in a world between wanting to be grown up, and still needing the security of being a child.
Balancing independence and responsibility during the teen years
By the time a child reaches high school, milestones abound, including getting the driver's license. Parents walk a fine line between giving freedoms and pulling in the reins as their children approach adulthood. As your teen asks for more and more rights, consider:
Provided by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Today, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the leading pediatric hospitals and research facilities in the world. Our 150 years of innovation and service to our patients, their families and our community reflect an ongoing commitment to exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare providers and pioneering significant research initiatives.
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