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6 Ways to Stay Engaged While Letting Go

Here are some ideas for staying involved in your tween's life while giving her some independence.
 

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Decision Making
Self-Expression
Responsibility
Independent Thinking
  1. Take the gradual approach. For example, when you first allow your child to spend unsupervised time with friends, drop him off and pick him up.
     
  2. Don't be nosy. Be curious and interested in what goes on in your absence, but don't be too intrusive.
     
  3. Encourage self-expression. Allow your child to challenge you and assert herself sometimes. She'll then be more likely to do the same with friends, if they go too far.
     
  4. Preserve family time. The more independent your child becomes, the more important it is to make time to eat, talk, and have fun together as a family.
     
  5. Discuss "What if ...?" scenarios. Talking about how to handle scary or uncomfortable situations ahead of time helps children know what to do when confronted with the real thing.
     
  6. Be supportive. Try not to be critical when your child misjudges something. Mistakes are a necessary part of learning.

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