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Raising an Independent Child

As a parent you’ve probably heard the all familiar phrase, “I can do it myself!” Logan’s been a pro at this one for about as long as I can remember. He always wants to do everything on his own, if you try to help him he smacks your hand away, until he’s succeeded on his own. While this can be rather annoying for a parent, as it does tend to take about ten times as long, it is actually a very crucial step in your child’s development. You may be tempted to take over for your child, to speed things up, but it will do a world of good for your child if you take a step back and let him do it on his own. They’re never going to get any better at it if you do it all for them.

When it comes to parenting we often tend to over-parent at times when our children need to do things on their own. We need to provide them with opportunities to make decisions for themselves. Even something as simple as which cup to use at dinner can make your child feel in control of their choices. If you give them room to make decisions while they are younger they will already have had some practice by the time they get a little older and the decisions are a little bigger and harder. Help model good decision making for your child. Let them watch you make decisions like what to make for dinner or what to do for family night. For example, “We could make lasagna tonight, but if we make spaghetti instead then we will have time to make dessert too.” They see you weigh each decision and decide which one works better for tonight. These decisions have very little effect in an eternal perspective, but it’s decisions like these that help your child practice for the choices they will have in other aspects of their lives in the future.

Step back and let your child make a few decisions here and there. They’re bound to stumble here and there along the way, but that is all part of the process. A few mistakes now are better than lots of mistakes later. Help them talk through their choices today so that ultimately they can make their own tomorrow.