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Connecting Just Enough With Your Child

Hermilando Aberia

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Getting involved with what your child does, but not overdoing it, enhances your child's total development. Studies show that children whose parents are involved in their work generally excel in what they do in school, in their hobbies, and other extracurricular activities. These children tend to have more self-confidence or higher levels of self-esteem.

Be wary, however, of overdoing parent involvement in your child's school activities. Your child may fall intro a trap of being too dependent on you. Children need privacy, freedom and space so that they can develop their own talents, skills and abilities. Doing things for what your child needs to do will not hasten his learning process. Instead, you will slow that process down. It does not matter if they are making mistakes or not doing enough when doing their work, what is important is he gets to learn by experience. He will be deprived of this opportunity if you keep on doing things for him.

Allowing your child to learn by himself is not easy for parents. We are too eager to help our child succeed, and come to their aid when they fail. Remember, your primary task is to guide and encourage your child in his school and other activities. By all means, reward him with praises for his successes, big or small. But learn when to step in and when to let your child be. Develop his creative nature by encouraging him various ways of doing things or approaching problems. Doing things differently does not necessarily make it wrong or inferior to what we consider to be standard practice. In fact it can create opportunities for learning not only for the child but for you, too.

Also keep some distance when it comes to your child's social life. Be around when you feel your child needs you. But when he says he needs time to figure out his problems himself, grant him that need. Just assure him of your guiding presence whenever your child invokes his need for your help. At his age of restlessness and discovery, he needs to go through learning processes by himself, with some help from his parents.

Hermilando Aberia is an expert in social development work with at least 22 years of professional experience as either consultant or key staff member of health, community development, education and local governance projects. He has a Master's Degree in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management. Contact Information: B21 L59 Kassel Kristina Heights, Tacloban City, Philippines. Mobile: ( 63) 9058664106; Website:

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