How Parental Roles Change

A Primer on Leading Children to Make Good Decisions

by Matthew Henry from Burst

When It’s Okay to Make All of the Decisions

At three-years-old, children need to be told that power outlets, boiling water, and swimming pools are no-gos. These are binary “safe” or “unsafe” decisions that we make on their behalf so they have the opportunity to grow into productive members of society…hopefully.

Our Role as Parents

In those early years, our roles are that of teacher and protector. But sometime in middle school, children decide what sort of person they want to become. For my eldest daughter, and myself as a child, it was smack in the middle of 7th grade.

Make Good Decisions, or I’ll Make Them For You

Given how independent kids get as they move into their teenage years, outright refusing certain things could make matters worse. That said, there are certain dangers any loving parent will want to protect their children from, no matter how independent they become (drugs and other crimes come to mind).

Progressively Going More Hands-Off

Let’s get honest for a second: your kids aren’t likely to move out when they turn eighteen. Hell, they may still be raiding your fridge in their mid-twenties. Are you still their parents at this stage? Yes. Is it still your house? Yes. And there are absolutely things in the post-teen years that you have every right to limit coming into your home. But if you adopt a “my house, my rules” approach to everything, including who gets the remote, you’ll drive a wedge in your relationship.

The Hardest Thing is Letting Go

If you’re anything like me, that last point hits pretty hard. I never want to let my kids go. Right now, I’m fortunate enough to have children in every portion of this spectrum, so I can still go back to my old roles (teacher/protector is most comfortable for my control-freak tendencies).

Content Writer • Fiction Author • Martial Artist • Lover of coffee and good stories /

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store