How to Help Your Children From Unhealthy Dependence

It is one thing to understand where codependency comes from with children, but it is another keeping it from them.  What should parents do to help children not to develop codependency?

  • Teach your children to pray about their decisions and to depend on God to guide them.
  • Begin early to train your children to make their own decisions. For example, early on in their lives, give them options (like clothing, shoes, snacks etc.) and the opportunity to make their own choices between two or three options.
  • Acknowledge and commend your children for making good decisions.  They will learn to repeat actions that are praiseworthy.
  • Allow your children to experience the repercussions of making bad decisions. Rather than finding a way to rescue them, maintain the boundary line – some of the most memorable lessons are learned the hard way.
  • Teach your children the practical principles of decision-making in regard to age-appropriate topics, such as boundaries, chores, friends, curfews, money, dating, and goals.
  • Encourage your children to develop healthy friendships with other children and to learn to give and take in relationships.
  • Teach your children to take care of their possessions, to perform routine household chores, and to prepare meals.
  • Show your children how to budget their money and how to establish spending priorities.
  • Enroll your children in group activities or clubs (at church or elsewhere) that will expose them to new but good experiences, enhance their life skills, and develop their self-confidence.
  • Identify your child’s strengths and find avenues in which your child can succeed in developing those strengths.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” God meant for us to grow. By God’s design, you can change and grow in maturity. You can have mature relationships. By God’s power, what has been ravaged can be restored. What has been ruined can be redeemed. Ask the Lord to transform your mind with His truth. Realise that the tree rooted in truth will bear much fruit. Psalm 1:3 “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”