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Raising An Independent Child

Cultivating autonomy in a child is not an easy task. When you add adoption into the equation, it becomes more complicated. An adoptive parent is not just responsible for providing for a child, but also to provide guidance and support while someone navigates the complicated emotions that come with adoption. 

How do you provide love, support, and guidance while also attempting to foster autonomy and independence in your child? How should you encourage autonomy without making your child feel more confused or abandoned? There is no rule book to this process, however there are options and strategies that a parent can enable in order to encourage a thriving and independent child. 

  • Differentiate between your needs and your child’s needs. Relationships are a two-way street, but in this case you need to be a provider of love and support and not an avenue for stress. Remind yourself that if your child’s needs are fulfilled, yours will be, too. 
  • Provide a setting with open dialogue. Conversation is not always comfortable, but it is always important. Leave the door open for all conversations, and let your child express their emotions in a way that is beneficial to them. 
  • Avoid over-protecting or “hovering” over your child. Autonomy is a means of self-governing; something we are all entitled to. Understand that things may not always go the way you expected or dreamt.  Navigating this creates even more independence and acts as a tool to build positive decision making. 
  • Provide an atmosphere of unconditional love. Let your child understand that we are all human; it is okay to make mistakes, and to learn from them. Having an understanding of making mistakes and learning from them creates a great pathway to responsible choices. 

There is no right way to navigate the range of emotions that come with being adopted. By creating a positive and open environment in your home and community you are letting your child know that they are in a safe space. 

Image credit: canadianfamily.ca