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Children may seek autonomy by exploring their environment, expressing their wishes and asserting their opinions. Yet, often, the environments they explore (the computer), the wishes they express (to stay up past bedtime) and the opinions they assert ("No!") are quite challenging!
Children are struggling to balance their growing need for autonomy with their ongoing need for security and adult support. Parents must also find a balance between supporting children's independence, while providing them with the structure and limits that they need. Power struggles may occur when parents and children are having trouble negotiating this balance.
What parents can do to help:
The Search for Autonomy and Independence
Raising Children Who Want to Help Others
Kids and Friendships How Much Involvement Should Parents Have?
Supporting a Shy Child
Developing Positive Relationships and Self-Esteem
Expressing and Coping with Feelings
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