Why It’s Important To Have Trusted Adults In Your Kid’s Life

So much goes into raising children- kissing boo-boos, potty training, and managing tantrums when you have to say they can’t have that third cookie. 

It’s hard to be everything your child needs all the time, especially when you are having trials of your own. 

These are the moments that relying on those trusted adults in your child’s life can make all the difference in your child’s life for the better.

Having someone to share the journey of parenthood with you while being there for your kids in their transformation into stable young adults is priceless. 

As Scary Mommy puts it:

“Just like us, our kids are whole people with complicated interests, needs and feelings.”

It’s likely that there will be lessons in life that you will process differently than your child, but maybe the trusted adult will be able to relay the valuable information in an easier to understand way. 

Our children know we love them unconditionally, but knowing they have worth outside of the family can boost their confidence and make them more comfortable in their skin.

These reflections have been learned through years of observation and experience, but now science is backing up what parents have known all along. 

Child Trends reports: 

Developmental research shows that having one or more caring adults in a child’s

life increases the likelihood that they will flourish, and become productive adults themselves. In many cases, these caring adults are the child’s parents, but other relatives, neighbors, friends of parents, teachers, coaches, religious leaders, and others can play this role.”

Opportunities for healthy relationships are all around us, we just have to choose wisely who to invest precious time into. 

Don’t take a flourishing relationship between an adult and your child lightly. All adults who spend quality time with your child should be vetted properly. 

This doesn’t mean you have to call in that favor to get the top level background check on the soccer coach (although it wouldn’t hurt), but that you should be spending time with the adult as well to make sure they are a safe person for your children to be around.

Don’t trust someone you don’t know well just because they “seem nice” or they “are with kids all the time.”

Invite adult friends on family outings to see how they interact with your children when you are around. You should be able to tell quickly if they are a good fit with your family. 

One study found that children and adolescents who have “mentor-like” relationships with an adult outside the home are “less likely to have externalizing behavior problems (bullying) and internalizing problems (depression),” reports Child Trend. 

As if the overwhelming positive impacts mentioned weren’t enough, the participants in the study were more likely to finish what they start, confront challenges head on, pick-up new things with ease, participate in more activities, and be more involved in school.

Getting our kids to speak with us on tough topics like their ill-advised friends and coming of age discussions can be a challenge, especially with adolescents as Mommy Underground has previously reported.

When there is a sympathetic adult outside the home the child is more likely to turn to the parents about “things that really matter,” the study showed. 

The research seems to make it clear that having a mentor-like adult in your kid’s life can be an invaluable resource, as well as a contributor to the child’s overall well-being. 

But which adults are more likely to make a positive impact?

Grandparents are a great option for adding a trusted adult to your child’s life. 

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They may aggravate you sometimes when they switch up the rules and allow your child to stay up late watching cartoons while eating cookies, but they probably are the closest people who love your kids as much as you do. 

Did you ever have that cool aunt or uncle that treated you like an equal and made you feel like they really enjoyed their time with you?

Think about how valuable that relationship was for helping you shape your identity outside the home.

The adult who would be an obvious choice is a teacher. Your child spends the most waking hours apart from you with their teacher, so you want that person to be adding to your child’s life in a positive way.

There are other roles in a child’s life that should be considered as a resource, such as coaches, therapists, and friends, each only helping your child to flourish.

These adults that add so much to our children’s life when they have so much of their own to consider deserve a sincere thanks. 

Be sure to acknowledge the magnitude of their role in your family next time you see them, and remember they are there next time you are facing those challenging mommy moments. 

Please let us know in the comments section if you have a trusted adult in your child’s life, and how you feel that has added to their overall well-being.

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