Child Freedom: how you can let your kids enjoy a healthy dose of freedom.
Freedom is such a great value to embrace and makes a vital human right in many instances, but when it comes to raising good-behaved kids, encouraging more freedom may sound a bit controversial. Those that oppose it claim that too much freedom can spoil your child and encourage bad manners and this might somewhat be true but in reality, you can still leave room for freedom in healthy ways that actually improve the mental and emotional development of your child.
Here is how:
Allow them to express their own opinions.
Every child needs to feel listened and valued when they have something important to talk about. If you want to encourage more freedom and honesty in your child, let them state their own opinion on something, even if it seems absurd at first. Questions like: what’s your favourite thing to do when we go out? or what do you think about having a brother or sister are great ways to encourage their little talking.
Let them decide where you can travel. If you have vacations plans on the horizon, don’t just simply announce to your kids that you are going somewhere. Ask also for their opinion and ask them perhaps to support why they’ve chosen this place. Kids love to express themselves in that regard and you’ll get the chance to travel to a place that you both approve.
Let them take part actively in family activities.
In some case actions speak louder than words. If your child doesn’t seem to be the verbal type that expresses itself with words, you can encourage more healthy freedom by engaging them in some practical activity i.e. let them cook with you, do the chores, play a game, dance, or join you on a trip with the rest of the family--that will be more constructive for them rather than letting them stay idle at home with a babysitter.
Let them play alone or with others with minimal supervision.
Many parents make the mistake of restricting the playing time of their kids or over-supervising what they do in fear of committing something unsafe or inappropriate. However, psychologists are all unanimous that free playing time is very important for the development of a child’s personality and introduction to the real world through role-playing. There is no valid reason to restrict their playing time, especially if they have fulfilled all their duties first i.e. homework. Kids definitely need some good amount of playing time to develop both their imagination skills and interpersonal skills, especially when playing with others.
Let them make-up a ‘realistic’ imaginary story. Toddlers and children below 8 years old are notorious for making stuff up and you shouldn’t discourage it, unless they start telling things that are totally bad or silly. But there is a good way to challenge their imagination and that is by asking them to make-up something that sounds real but it doesn’t. You’ll be amazed of what they come up.
Let them customize their own stuff. There is nothing more satisfying than to let your kids customize and ‘alter’ their own stuff as they wish. Let them for example create their own crafts from old materials or customize their toys, clothes, and accessories. We offer special child pj customisation for this purpose but there are many other ideas as well. Children love to take part on something that they choose to have the final word and it makes a perfect gift for them in special occasions like their birthdays or christmas.