Quick Tip

Teach Them to Fly

kid with toy airplane

Being a parent of an emerging teen is like flying a kite. It's a constant dance of testing and trying independence, along with competing wills and priorities. The wind, the string, the pulling, the letting go. Our kids think they know what's best. They want to be independent, but sometimes it doesn't quite work the way they think it will, and they plummet.

This week, as my oldest starts high school. We are again in the midst of that dance.

The coaching tip: As your children get older, start giving the rope a little more slack. When facing your child's desire for more independence, it can be easy to force him to do things your way. But when you give her some rope so that she can fly on her own, you allow room for her to make mistakes and find her own way. Your goal is to teach him to fly – and be ready with a strong arm (and maybe a net) to catch her if she falls.

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