10) Parents need to be attuned to their child’s need for independence, when they need to let go. Attunement parenting does not equal helicopter parenting. Autonomy and self-exploration are important parts of childhood. Too much structured time doesn’t allow kids to express and explore their own needs and identity. As parents, we need to safely encourage creative play, avoid too many extracurricular activities, and encourage outdoor play.
From a Christian perspective, attunement parenting is our attempt to parent our children as God parents us. God gives us freedom, lets us fall, and then helps us get back up. He gives us many good gifts and unconditional love, but there are times when He challenges us to become stronger. He gives us what is good for us, not necessarily what we want. As parents, we strive to love our children as God loves us. When we’re not perfect, we can just remind our children that they do have perfect parents in heaven.
Kathleen M. Berchelmann, MD is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and a mother of five young children. Connect with Dr. Berchelmann at KathleenBerchelmannMD.com.