Alone time – we all need some degree of it. Even me, a card-carrying extrovert, gets a bit overwhelmed if I’m always interacting with others. When I have time to just exist, without input or involvement from others, I usually slow down, look inward and invariably self-reflect. I am also put in a position to be more independent in my choice making – which means I have no one to blame but me for the choices I make. I realize my choices impact my consequences, and if I don’t like the consequences of my actions, I need to make different choices.
If you have kids you may have noticed that alone time can be pretty hard to come by during the pandemic. It’s 24-7 of never-ending togetherness. Our children are ever-present. And for our kids, the same is true. WE are ever-present – which can be problematic if we want our children to learn how to be independent.
Kids of all ages need independence and when we are always around providing unsolicited advice, contacting their teachers, giving them money, or telling them how to solve their problems, they don’t learn how to work through these issues on their own. And the more we intervene, the more they have someone other themselves (specifically, us) to blame for the outcome of their choices.
Our children will always need us in some form or fashion, but sometimes it takes our absence for them to make this discovery. I always thought this theme would make a great country & western song. “How can I miss you if you won’t ever go away?” My suggestion? Resist the urge to jump in and “help.” I know it is hard, but at times I believe the best intervention we can provide our kids is to simply not intervene at all.