In the book Pressured Parents, Stressed-out Kids, Dr. Wendy Grolnick and Kathy Seal examine what it takes to stay connected with your kids.
"Autonomy is the feeling of initiating an action.
When people feel a sense of autonomy, the feeling that what they do derives from them, they're happier. And they perform better, because the enjoyment motivates them to study or practice more, building up their skills.
Some theorists recoil from the idea of autonomy because they connect it to the American archetype of the "rugged individualist." They understand autonomous people as egocentric and separate, rather than being warmly related to their parents, family, and friends.
But that's not my definition. Quite the opposite: autonomy promotes intimacy. It helps you and your child fulfill your basic human need for connection. At first it may seem paradoxical, but promoting a child's feeling of choice and freedom draws you closer."