Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

On Her Own: How to Foster More Independence in Your Daughter

Watching our little girls grow into young women can be an exciting and often daunting experience. We will always wonder if we are giving them the necessary tools they need to become successful adults and tend to shield our children from any hurt or harm. However, adulthood approaches rapidly and we must prepare ourselves to teach our daughters how to become independent as they get older. The world is a scary place, but when your girl is prepared to go it on her own, she can succeed.
Trust Her
The idea of trusting your children with anything is rather frightening, and as a parent you may not feel your child is ready to be trusted. Even though we wish for our daughters to achieve independence, you may never honestly be ready to give certain privileges to our children. We are never 100% sure they can handle all of the events that occur in their lives but in order to earn our trust, our children need to be provided with opportunities to receive it. Begin to learn how to release your management by starting with something minor and trust that they will prove themselves adequately. Kids who are aware of their parents’ trust tend to be less likely to knowingly lose it. Your daughter will gain confidence in her own judgement and will not desire to disappoint you when they have the freedom and option to either do well or fail.

Relinquish Your Control
When learning to trust your daughter, you are opening up avenues to slowly relinquish your control over certain aspects of her life. This doesn’t necessarily mean you give her 100% dominion over her life. (You are still her parent and must act as her guardian.) However, this means you give her the opportunity to make her own choices. This includes elements such as her style of clothing, her bedtime, her diet, and other aspects of her life that she will grow to have preferences over. Don’t make decisions for her. If you often shop together, use this as an opportunity to give her choices, relinquish control, and demonstrate trust. For example, you might give her a budget and let her purchase anything on Southern Tots or in her favorite department store under that amount. This way, she may experience the act making decisions without having to deal with situations beyond her understanding or making you too uncomfortable.

Flying from the Nest
Helping your daughter gain independence may be a slow process, but an incredibly fruitful one. With your assistance, your daughter is able to practice parts of adulthood and making choices without the fear of adult consequences. When she is ready to step out into the world, your daughter will already have experience thinking on her own and being in control of her life.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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