Part of raising independent kids, and kids that are self sufficient is letting them fight their own battles, make their own choices, and solve their own problems. However, sometimes it is your responsibility as a parent to butt in. The following are a few guidelines to help you know when you should butt in, and when you should stay out of it, and let them handle it on their own, or make their own choices:
1. Dangerous. If their actions, choices, or problems are dangerous to them or others, then it is time to step in. there are all kinds of things that can be dangerous, from the activities they engage in, to the people they choose to associate with. Online chat rooms may be dangerous, or certain spring break destinations. Butt in when they do not have the perspective to know that the things they are doing or choosing is putting them in danger. No one wants to see their child get hurt when they could have stepped in and changed things with a few stern words.
2. Illegal. Your child does not need a criminal record, misdemeanor, or felonies on their record. This can get in the way of their getting a job later, or getting into military service if that is what they wish. So, if your child is doing stupid things, or things that are illegal, step in. This might be drugs, or it might be something like throwing pumpkins at mailboxes. Whatever it is, step in if your child is doing something illegal.
3. Jeopardize future. If your child is in a situation, or making choices that will negatively impact their future, it is time to step in. Are they drinking away their college experience? Are they dating the same person so frequently they are not giving anyone else a chance, or themselves a chance to see what there is good and bad in people? The point is, some things are not that big of a deal, and are better left to them to discover and work out, others impact them for years, such as getting a loan and not being able to pay it, so butt in when it is going to impact them long term.
1. Social problems. If your child is having a fight with friends, stay out of it. Unless that fight puts them at risk, it is important for them to learn how to work things out, and take care of such problems on their own. When they are working as an adult, and they do not get along with their co-workers, they won’t have you to step in and call the mommies, or talk to the boss. Let them learn to fight their own battles through experience.
2. Expressions of self, and individuality. Kids often do things, and get involved in things as a way to figure out who they are and what they want in life. If you do not want to cause further problems, stay out of it. So what if they want to dye their hair pink for a while? It is their way of figuring things out, so let them do it. If it does not hurt them, isn’t illegal, and isn’t going to negatively impact their future, let them go through their silly phases, and work things out on their own.
3. If the situation is really not a big deal in the scheme of things, stay out of it. So what if they would rather not go to prom. If it is not really a big deal in the scheme of things, stay out. If your daughter wants to date a jerk, let her for a while, it might teach her a valuable lesson. If your son is playing a video game you do not like, ask yourself if it really matters.