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Let Children Struggle to Find Their Way

You can do everything right as a parent or teacher and still have a child that struggles. 

Just don’t give up on them! 

As a person who has lived my entire life in the world of personal and spiritual development, what I can say is that from birth to 12 years of age you need to be a parent, not a friend, not a dictator, but someone who is loving, compassionate, allows the child to grow and explore, is open to the child leading the way BUT has solid rules boundaries and limitations with a strong sense of morals and ethics. 

Creating a perfect balance of freedom and parameters where children can learn and thrive. 

Children will know where they stand, but also have support from their parents and teachers to navigate in life. 

This is the stage where you teach children how to exist in this world. AND…there will be struggles, frustration, upset and sadness, just don’t give up. 

Throughout this stage, be patient, act calm, be resilient and supportive to your child. Show them what to do when they are frustrated or upset. 

A parent or teacher who just yells and demands change does not work. What is that teaching a child to do in the moment they are frustrated? “Being” the behavior you want from your child is what you want to present to them, while softly speaking to them in a loving but firm tone. 

They are not trying to be bad, they just don’t know what to do. So, they need your help to get through this stage in life. Yes, it is hard, yes, it will be challenging, and yes, do this for 12 years and no matter how perfect you do this, they will still struggle, even after the tenth time you went through it. 

Now here is the best part, when your child turns 13, you are no longer a parent or teacher, you are a consultant. 

That’s right, you had 12 years to be a parent and instill what you wanted in your child that is why this stage is so important as it is the foundation to the rest of their lives. But, at 13, it is time for your child to take all that you taught them and apply it to real life experiences. 

You still need to apply your rules, boundaries and limitations, but shift your role to becoming more of a coach. 

Ask questions, come to decisions together, compromise, create trust, and be clear on consequences when trust is broken. This is the stage where you say to your child things like, “is there a better choice you could have made?

 How will that affect you in the long run? Is there more information you need to make a decision? You are coming from a place where you want to help them critically think through the experiences they are having so they can grow into mature responsible adults. 

This stage is so important because the attitude and independence begins, so in order to stay connected to your child you need to create this shift. 

One of the biggest mistakes parents and teachers make is that we don’t let children make mistakes. Or the consequences are just absurd, and push your child further away. 

The teenage years are for messing up. You never learn if you don’t make mistakes. Fail your way to success as I always say. Just don’t give up on them, you won’t see who children really are until they are in their 20’s anyway, so stick with it, be the parent or teacher who is unapologetically firm and loving and let the children struggle to find their own way.

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