Is this something we really teach or is it a way of life that some have and others lack?
I have always felt that my most important job as a parent is to guide my children into adults. I believe that children only become responsible when given responsibilities and given the support to do the task at hand.
I have always facilitated my children's independence. In every little thing they do I am encouraging independence in their lives.
Some of the ways I do this are to start them out very early. As toddlers I encouraged them to pick up their own toys as soon as they were done playing with them. We kept a basket in the living room with all their toys in it and they could play with them whenever they wanted but when they were done all the toys had to be picked up and put back. As they got older we increased the responsibilities according to their age and ability.
At this stage I have very independent children. Sometimes this is bad for me as the parent, but then I remind myself that it simply means I am doing my job very well. My job is to make adults, not create big babies.
I have come to realize that not everyone holds my ideals, not every parent thinks or understands that their biggest job is to raise healthy functioning adults. I am amazed that there are people out there who do not grasp the concept that teaching children to be independent is fundamental to them being functioning adults. It's as if they expect that on their 18th birthday suddenly a child goes from being a child to being an adult. This is no miracle. It happens gradually over the years if you are teaching it.
So what do you, my readers think? Do you think that its important to teach children how to be independent or is this something you feel that will happen over time?