Thursday, December 9, 2010

Teaching Independence?

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?


  1. YOu already pretty much know my opinions on this subject lady...but wanted to say good blog! Hope you can find more time for your blogging and your creative pursuits in the coming days and weeks! ♥

  2. Sorry it took me so long to read this, but I think you're absolutely right! I am the same way with my kids, with the same goal in mind: happy, healthy, productive, and independent adults. One other thing I started with mine as toddlers was when they were hurt (minor incidents like bumps and bruises) I would wait to see what their reaction was. If they cried or ran for me I would sweep them up with kisses for boo-boos, but if I didn't immediately react they realized they could brush it off and keep playing. As they get older they don't run to me for every little thing, they try to handle it on their own first!

  3. Candice I do exactly that same thing. I even do not freak out when it is something major. One example is when my youngest was playing with one of our dogs and he got bite. His ear lobe was torn and he ended up needing 16 stitches in his lobe. Instead of crying or being freaked out I just calmly told him that we needed to go to the dr so they could fix it. I was able to keep him calm even though it hurt and he was able to lay there and let them stitch him up without crying. The dr was shocked that I could keep calm and keep him calm enough that they didnt have to sedate him or put him in a papoose to hold him down.