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The Best of Both Worlds Fortunately, according to Padilla- Walker, parents can offer involvement and autonomy at the same time. “Rather than scheduling classes for the child, sit down with the child and schedule classes,” she says. “We call it ‘scaffolding’—holding them up when they need it and then gradually supporting them less and less as they become more capable.” Communication is also important.


“Talk to your child about what is expected of them and what your role can be,” she says. “Let them know you’re there to help, but that you cannot solve the problem for them.” For example, a parent could offer advice on dealing with a teacher without offering to call that teacher directly. Love recommends asking a simple


question when your kids are facing difficulties: “How can I help?” The meta-message behind that question is “You’re in charge. I’m trusting you to know yourself and your own needs,” he says. “It doesn’t preclude you as a parent making recommendations or sugges- tions, but you started from a place of respect and trust. That’s huge.”


Message Received? Parents also need to pay attention to the meta-messages they’re receiving. “If your child is rolling her eyes or walking away when you’re trying to help, examine your behavior,” Padilla- Walker says. “And communicate with your child about it.” Love agrees. “Just ask the question:


‘I’m sensing that you’re resenting my help here. Is it too much?’” he says. And if your child says you’re


helping too much? Love recommends focusing that extra energy on planning your “retirement” from parenting. “Do some planning so that when that separation does come, it’s a matter of some joy,” he says. “You should start preparing for retirement the day your kid is born.” ¿


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