When your child was in elementary school, you probably made most of the decisions about his life. You may have set rules about bedtime, when he could go out to play, and when he had to do his homework.
Now that your child is in middle school, he needs a less heavy-handed approach. Part of his job is to begin to assume control over his own life and responsibilities.
To help your child become more independent:
- Offer more privileges, but always tie them to responsibility. When your child acts responsibly (completing chores, doing homework on time, behaving respectfully), he should get more freedom. When he does not, he’ll have to forgo his “adult privileges” until he is ready.
- Offer more guidance, less direction. When your child has a problem, try not to say, “Do it this way.” Instead, say, “Have you considered this?”
- Continue to connect with your child. Yes, your child is growing into his own person. Yes, his friends are very important to him. But you are, too. Your child needs to know he has your love, care and respect. Show you value his newfound maturity by asking his opinion on grown-up topics, such as current events.
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