As a dad, I want to shield my child from every possible hurt, but I can’t do that. From the time they’re very young, our children face obstacles that they need to overcome on their own. From their first steps to their first apartment, each step takes them closer to adulthood.
It has been a long time since most of us have been children ourselves, so we tend to forget that it’s not always a cakewalk. Our kids are overcoming new challenges every day as they learn and grow. Some of the more common challenges your kids will encounter on the road to adulthood are the following:
Making new friends
If you’ve ever dropped your child off for the first day at a new daycare or school, you know the worry that comes along with it. Will my kid make friends?
For some kids, making friends comes easily. Other children are more shy and introverted. But don’t fear. Your kids will eventually make friends, and this is one obstacle they’ll face again and again for the rest of their lives. Even though parents worry, it is best for them to practice socializing and making friends when they’re young.
Understanding complex relationships
If your children are still in elementary school or younger, keep this in mind as you relate to other people in your life. Show your children what it’s like to have a healthy relationship with each other, teachers and coaches by practicing good listening skills and resolving conflict in healthy ways.
When your kids reach their teenage years, they may get involved with their first boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s around this time that us parents start sprouting new grey hairs. But the good news (or bad news) is that your child has already learned about how to have healthy relationships from watching your interactions with them and with your partner. Kids who are a product of a troubled upbringing are likely to repeat negative patterns, so try to avoid heated arguments in front of them.
When your kids start dating, try to keep an open dialogue about their relationships. This may be difficult because teens are notoriously secretive, but remain diligent. At the very least, talk to your children about how to spot unhealthy behaviors in a significant other. This way, they can know what to avoid before they become too involved. Examples of these behaviors may include extreme jealousy, controlling behavior or aggression.
Transitioning to work life
All their lives, your kids complained about school. You smile because you know what’s coming. Your child may get his first job in high school or college, and this will lay the groundwork for an eventual career. But the reality of work doesn’t truly set in until your child starts paying his own bills.
You can help your child prepare for this transition by keeping them accountable for chores. You can also use an allowance as a way to get them used to working for money for extra work that falls outside of chores. If money comes too easily to them while they’re living with you, working will be an unpleasant surprise.
Despite the fears you might be having as a parent for your child, they are often unwarranted. Children make mistakes and face obstacles every day which you can’t possibly correct or overcome for them. It’s up to them to handle it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be by their side as they do so.
Be supportive of your kids and offer them help when they ask for it. Most importantly, have faith in them to accomplish their goals and correct their mistakes because that’s what will make them into the outstanding adults they are meant to become.
Author’s Bio: Trevor McDonald is a freelance content writer who has a passion for writing. He’s written a variety of education, travel, health, and lifestyle articles and is currently writing for Sober Nation. In his free time, you can find him spending time with his kids, playing his guitar or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.