The time spent outside the family, outside the environment controlled by the parents, is valuable for young people in the period of defining their identity, say psychologists. For example, camps can make them responsible.
As a parent, it is important to understand that the young preadolescent or adolescent goes through difficult trials on his way to building his self-image and identity. Like any valuable thing, identity is not obtained easily, but with effort and attempts to overcome obstacles, among which we mention the impositions of the school and parents, the formation and maintenance of the group of friends. To help him overcome them, you can just be with him from a certain distance.
Spending free time, by age
Around the age of 10, children start to have the desire to be independent, but it is natural to go to camps and trips accompanied by adults. During this period, it is essential that parents encourage them and respect their wishes. They should not be forced to face difficult conditions just to harden themselves – this can have major negative effects on the later psychological development of children. Also, banning their experiences because of their own fears is not a fair measure either.
Around the age of 14, young people become more independent, they like to do things their parents don’t know about, they need to be masters of their time and make decisions about how they spend it. Young people can be encouraged to organize themselves and responsibly in relation to spending time outside the family. Parents can be with them to discuss and plan these events. Also, it is crucial that parents teach them to protect themselves from possible inconveniences.
Starting from the age of 18, it is natural for young people to plan their vacations and free time on their own, communicating the ideas they have come up with to their parents.
Children become more responsible
Spending time outside the family, as long as it respects the child’s desire and need for protection, has several advantages. When planning his trip, the teenager develops his ability to anticipate – he learns to organize his time, activities and necessary resources. That is why it is good for parents to teach their children to pack their own luggage and to assist them, not to do it for them. During the trip, the children learn to solve their own problems, to help their colleagues or to ask for their help. They also learn the ability to handle themselves in various situations, to become responsible. That is why it is good for parents to maintain communication with the child by phone or images only for what is strictly necessary and exclusively at the child’s desire and need, so they should not initiate the communication. Socializing and discovering new and different models to approach various situations is a gain in personal independence. Parents can also benefit from their children going on trips, camps, etc. – they can use this time for themselves, they can rediscover themselves and spend time differently than when the children are at home and their needs come first.
Trust is basic
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The main “ingredient” behind the decision to let the child go on trips is the parents’ trust in themselves and in their children. Also, children’s main gain is confidence – in themselves and in their ability to face new situations without the immediate help of their parents. In trips and camps, the child learns to make friends and collaborate in a team.
Cristina Stroe, psychologist, counseling specialist psychological,
psychoeducatia.ro, tel. 0722.474.573
The time spent by teenagers outside the family is a good opportunity to grow and take responsibility. Not infrequently, upon returning from a camp, training camp or trip of a few days, parents welcome home a different person than the one who left. “It’s like he’s grown,” they say, being used to recognizing physical development as the only way to grow. Even if he did not grow physically, it is true that he became a slightly more mature person, with a few more personal experiences, with a few trials overcome on his own. And this is a priceless gift that parents can give their children, giving up a little bit of control over them.