Why should we empower kids? Isn’t easier to retain control ourselves? Let’s look at some reasons that it makes sense to begin early giving your kids the power to make decisions and do things appropriate for their age.
Kids Have Ownership
Kids are more invested when they have ownership. The preteen who sets up her own schedule to do her homework wants to see success. If she’s operating under a schedule imposed by a parent, she may actually work toward its failure.
It Takes Time to Prepare Kids to Leave Home
It takes longer than the last year at home to get kids ready to leave. There is no way to teach a seventeen-year-old in one year all about handling personal care, doing laundry and finances, scheduling time, preparing meals, standing up to peer pressure, and making moral decisions. Besides, a younger person is more receptive to those lessons than a high school senior who thinks he has it all figured out.
It’s Less Work for Parents
It takes the load off parents. There will be less need to do laundry at midnight if kids are empowered to run the washer and dryer. See Empower Kids – A Great Way to Build Self-Esteem for the story of my son’s dirty jeans. Parents gain the same time benefit for many other tasks.
Kids Like the Feeling of Control
It gives kids a feeling of being in control. The young person who manages his own money and checking account is more likely to make good financial decisions. It is easier to say “no” to the peer pressure to spend money if the restriction is not coming from a parent.
It Makes the Freshman Year of College a Better Experience
Parents will feel more confident about their college freshman’s survival. Kids who are totally under the control of parents until they leave home often crater at college. These kids may do so poorly that the college puts them on probation the first semester and sends them home the second semester.
You Pass Good Habits to Successive Generations
You set a good example for your kids to empower your grandchildren when that time comes. Good child-rearing practices (or bad) pass from generation to generation. If you were not empowered by your parents, you can be the one who breaks the pattern.
It’s Hard Work in the Beginning
At first, it’s hard when we set out to empower our kids. There will be times when they fail and make a big mess of things. However, it makes sense to let them fail while they are still living at home. It’s easier to pick up the pieces. Kids who fail away from home often suffer severe depression because they lack the support system they would have at home.
Can you think of others reasons to empower your kids? What are some ways you have turned the “power” over to your children? Do you feel “peer pressure” from other parents to refrain from empowering your kids?