One of the hardest lessons for any parent is to teach their child to be independent--even from an early age.
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Parenting Advice: Raising an Independent Child That’s Not Too Clingy

Although it might not bother you to have a small child who clings to you, few parents want an overly dependent young adult son or daughter calling for money and help. In the era when children seem attached to their mobile phones, experts say it’s more important than ever to establish boundaries. When it comes to parenting advice about raising an independent child, keep in mind it’s not the same world as it was two or three decades ago. Many young adult children rely on their parents for some financial support, but it’s a red flag if they text and call you throughout the day. To raise an independent child who flies solo and leaves the nest at the right time, consider some tips.

Letting go of the control

Some parents want to remain important in their child’s lives so they keep them dependent. Teach your children to find motivation within instead of relying on external validation. It’s important to provide limits and reward only for achievement and good behavior. Your children should express happiness in organic situations. It’s also important to instill values such as honesty, integrity and self-responsibility. In other words, there are consequences for what you do. No one steps in to “save” or rescue you if you make a poor decision.

Recognizing an independent child

Independent children aren’t afraid to take care of themselves in a crisis or in an ordinary situation. They feel motivated from within to achieve. You know you are on the right path when your children work well with other people, but have no trouble working solo. They make good decisions, rarely looking to you for a nod of approval or asking whether they did the right thing.

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to provide your children with guidance, resources, support and materials as well as education. Your child has his or her own responsibilities that include giving a best effort, showing appreciation, completing what they start, cooperating and expressing gratitude and empathy.

When you raise an independent child, you are less likely to end up with a clingy child who is a “pleaser” or one who does not live up to expectations. You also want to prevent children from acting like reactors who do the opposite of what you want. Experts suggest you give your children plenty of love and respect while showing them you feel confident in them. Let them have control in their lives without always stepping in. The best parenting advice is to keep a child accountable while still loving and nurturing them.

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