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Categories: Family

Raise Independent Children – Don’t Hamper Their Ability to Succeed

You can find serenity in raising your children to be independent, so do not hamper them. Recently I read an article where one mother said that she wiped her seven years old son’s bottom after he went to the bathroom because she was afraid he would not get clean enough. I was amazed by this. I do not know if the boy was homeschooled or went to a traditional school. I wondered if he went to school how did the boy handle his personal hygiene while he was at school. When the family went out to restaurants or to visit relatives, I wonder if she followed her son to the bathroom to wipe his bottom. I am not telling this story to comment on this mother’s parenting choices. I am not writing about it to say that she is right or wrong in her choice. Instead, I am writing about it to illustrate that there is a line between over-parenting our children and teaching them with proper parenting. I am suggesting that this line is a wide one and is best judged on an individual family by family situation.

When raising children, it is important to both look at the forest and the trees. In other words, one must teach lessons that are needed for day-to-day life. At the same time, one must plant the seeds that will be necessary for success in adulthood. Step by step and piece by piece we must raise our children to be successful adults. When our children re newborn, we must do everything for them. Babies need to be cared for, children need to be raised. As our newborns turn into toddlers, we stop feeding them and teach them to feed themselves. Almost every parent has funny stories about their children learning to feed themselves. At my house for example, I still laugh at the sight of my son when he was learning to feed himself. He did not understand napkins so when he ate with his hands he would wipe them in his hair. This little boy had the prettiest brown, red and blond curly hair. At the end of each meal, we could tell what he had eaten by going through his curls and pulling out the remnants. Over time, he learned the point of napkins and stopped using his hair to clean his hands.

As toddlers start elementary school, move toward middle school and then high school they have desires and abilities to do more things independently. Our children stop needing us to walk them to school and to the school bus stop and want to walk with their friends. Eventually they stop wanting us to drive them places and want to drive on their own. It is our job to get them from the kindergarten school bus to the DMV and beyond.

In conclusion, you can find serenity in raising your children to be independent, so do not hamper them. So, the question for you this serene day is, what are you doing to help your children be independent productive adults?

Janeane Davis

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