When your little ones are very young, you're used to being everything that they need. They not only rely on you, but you're always the one they turn to whenever something happens. It's a lot of work, but there isn't a parent alive who would say they want things any other way. That's what makes it so hard when your kids start pulling away and wanting a little more independence. A lot of parents imagine that this starts at around puberty, but it actually starts to happen quite a bit sooner than that. Even as a pre-teen, your child is going to end up going through more changes than you expect. But remember that. However jarring and surprising a lot of these changes might be for you, that's going to go double for them. It's important not to overreact when your kids start showing signs of wanting a little more distance, the last thing you want it to smother them and end up pushing them even further away. The key is to help them feel confident to strike out on their own while always making sure that they know that you're always going to be there for them. Sometimes, that can be easier said than done, however. To help make things a little easier, here are some tips on how to handle a few of the tricky milestones that your child might hit as they get a little bit older.
Sleepovers can be a scary prospect for both parents and children. For a lot of kids, it'll be the first time that they've ever stayed somewhere away from their family members, and for you, it could well be the first time you've left someone outside of the family look after the most precious thing in the world to you. The important thing is to make sure that your child is always in a position to contact you. Make sure you know where they are and have the details of the parents of their friend. If you're leaving your kids with someone else, then you should make sure that it's someone you trust. Make sure that you meet and get to know the parents of whoever they're staying with before the sleepover ever happens. You'll undoubtedly discover that they are perfectly nice and friendly, but at least it will set your mind at ease. It's sometimes even a good idea to ask the parents to call you to let you know everything's going okay once the kids are asleep.
Moving schools can be one of the most significant things in the world as far as your kids are concerned. At the elementary school, they probably knew everyone and had a pretty solid idea of their place in the whole thing. Once they leave elementary school things, suddenly get a whole lot bigger and a whole lot scarier. They might be suddenly forced to make an entirely new group of friends when they don't really want to. You might be acutely aware that within a few weeks they'll have forgotten what life was like before middle school or high school, but during that transition period, it's essential that you provide your child with a safe, secure home environment so that they have something to grip onto.
As with almost everything in your little one's life, these are all things that you can probably remember going through yourself. You know from experience that most of them ended up being nowhere near as much of a big deal as you thought it was at the time, but you should also remember that the emotions that you felt were just as real and valid at that moment like any other. The worst thing that you can do for a child when they're at this stage is to make them feel like their opinions or feelings aren't valid. Even when you have to put your foot down and take control as a parent, always make sure to communicate with your child and show them that you're there for them. That way you'll be able to provide a guiding hand that will be able to lead them through this scary and exciting new time in their life.