By Valeria Vilar, MA, BEd, LMHC
In the month of July we celebrate Independence Day. The 4th of July of 1776 the United States of America was born, through the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.
This is a date of patriotic celebration, and family gathering. The holiday is celebrated with parades, fireworks, and family reunions.
For a country, been free is an representation of power. For the human being, it represents power as well. An individual is able to reach his autonomy as an adult, when he becomes independent from his parents.
To move out of one’s parents’ house is not an easy step for many. It means reaching emotional and economical independence. And often, achieving the emotional independence is much harder that doing it in the economic aspect.
Why is it so hard for some people to become emotionally independent from their parents?
This difficulty is directly related with the kind of connection that existed between the child and his/her parents.
When a person has a hard time going through this process, it is because he has and an insecure relationship with his parents. He has grown up being dependent, fearful, and with a low self-esteem.
On the other hand, when a person is able to reach an emotional independence, it is because he has had a secure relationship with his parents while growing up.
How do you develop a secure relationship with your children? One that benefits their ability to become independent?
- Providing a reachable parent figure whenever the child requires it. This will make less prone to experiencing fears, than other children that don’t have that level of confidence.
- Confidence is attained gradually during the growing years, and generally persists for the rest of their lives. Feeling that their parental figure is accessible when they need it will give them a sense of safety and self-confidence.
- In the journey to independence it is fundamental to support the child when he/she feels ready to take the step of moving out of the parent’s home. It is important to empower them to explore their possibilities, providing protection and a sense of safety when they need it.
- Allowing the child to choose his/her own toys, and establish their own rhythm of playing, without interfering or trying to control them. The idea is to cooperate with them, as opposed to imposing your opinions or ways of doing things.
- Showing them availability, patience, and consistency.
- Keeping an environment of affection, and a positive interaction between the parent figure and the child.
- Expressing more positive emotions and less negative ones.
Celebrate a blasting 4th of July. Beat the drums, blow the horns, groove to the beats. I invite you to celebrate with joy and excitement, the spirit of independence in this month of July. Start by empowering the children’s independence, creating the basis for future adults with high self-esteem, independent individuals without fears.
Let’s inspire the spirit of freedom, I wish you a sparkling 4th of July!!!