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 … Continue reading

An Organized Closet Encourages Independence

Typically, we think of cleaning and organization in terms of how much order it can bring to our family lives, but as parents, having an organized closet—whether it be the linen closet, in your entry way or your child’s clothes closet (and this goes for cupboards and pantries too) can actually encourage our children to learn how to be more independent. Consider this: if you take the time to arrange your child’s closet in an orderly way, label and mark where everything goes, and provide plenty of accessible storage—your child can learn and be expected to put things away. If … Continue reading

“Independence Day” for a Single Parent

I have never been a huge fan of the *Fourth of July* in its traditional sense with the firecrackers and heavy drinking. What I can wrap my head around however, is the “Independence Day” part of the celebration. While I know my history well enough to appreciate the founding fore-folk and all the work they did to bring about our republic, “Independence Day” also has strong meaning to me as a single parent… If I was to pick one word that describes single parents and single parent families, it would probably be “independent.” Many of us are completely self-supporting and … Continue reading

Letting Them Solve Problems WITHOUT Interference

We often talk about the road to independence here in the Parents blog and we also talk about teaching, guidance and intervention. I thought that it was high time we talk about letting our children solve problems without a word or intervention from us as parents. It can be hard; much easier said than done; but if they are to develop problem-solving skills and confidence, the children need opportunities to tackle things without our getting in the way. When a child is learning to walk, he or she falls down—it is a given. As a parent do you rush over … Continue reading

“Backing Off” is a Process

I have written lately about letting go of kids who are growing up. I have been quite open in sharing my experiences with having two of my three children graduating from the high school experience and preparing to move on to college. A big chunk of my focus as a parent, particularly as a single parent, lately has been learning how to let go and back off. As much as I would like to report that I am doing it perfectly, I am learning as I go. I have good days and bad ones. Sometimes I say and do the … Continue reading

“Leave me Alone!—Don’t Leave Me!”

Parents of young children complain about separation anxiety, and then parents of older children may complain that their child is eager to have them leave and doesn’t seem to notice when they are gone. The parent of a teenager, however, experiences the most confusing phase of all—the teen who grumbles to be left alone and then turns around minutes later and complains of being abandoned! I have been quite open in sharing some of the trials and joys of preparing to send two older teen daughters off to college. It is an exciting time, yes, but it is also stressful, … Continue reading

How did I get from “I can’t Leave my Baby!” to “It’s Time for You to Go!”?

I was talking with a friend of mine who is a new parent. She was going on and on about how “in love” she is with her baby and how she just cannot imagine ever being able to leave the infant! In fact, she cannot see how anyone can get a babysitter, send their child off to public school or (gulp) spend a night apart from the baby. I couldn’t help but smile. I remember well being that enamored parent! So in love with my darling baby or babies that I just couldn’t see myself NOT being the ever-present mother. … Continue reading

Do You Love Them Enough to Cut Them Off?

As many of you know, I have been through many different stages of parenting—most of them as a single parent. Now my children are getting to the launching years. At the ages of 18, 17 and 16—we are moving out of the world where I have been in control and into a time when they need to take control for their own lives. This can be a rocky time for children and parents alike and as a single parent; it can be tough to know when to indulge and when to say “no.” There is a point when we have … Continue reading

I Don’t Want My Kids to be That Coworker Who Won’t Do Dishes

We all know those co-workers—the ones who don’t clean up after themselves: they leave a mess in the company microwave and leave their dishes stacked in the sink, just assuming that someone else will clean up after them. I don’t know if I have ever worked at a job where there was not at least one of those people who had never learned the lesson of how to clean up after themselves and have some consideration for others. I am determined that my kids will NOT be that coworker. I know that I cannot fully control what sort of adults … Continue reading

Chasing Them Out of the Nest

I feel myself shifting gears—without really making a conscious attempt, I find that I am changing from being the protective, nurturing parent of dependent children to nudging and pushing them as they prepare to leave the nest. I never would have imagined that I would be both ready and understanding of my children’s inevitable departure, but it seems almost biological. I feel like one of those animal mothers who, when the time comes, runs her children out of the next so that they can begin to live life on their own. My kids and I have started to joke about … Continue reading