Raise an Independent Kid!
As a nanny raising hundreds of children with the trust of the parents in whom have left their children in my care, believed in not only my skill set and capabilities, but agreed with my parenting philosophy on bringing up an independent kid. As parents, we have one job; to raise a happy, well rounded and independent child.
In my opinion, many parents of my generation (generation X) have done a lot of disservice to their children by making sure they cannot function without their constant presence in their lives. We refer to this as “helicopter parenting”. This type of parenting style has led to the dependency of our children to continue to rely on us, far past college.
Today, I see many 18-year-old kids that are afraid to get their driver license and continue to ask for rides, pick up their friends to go to activities in which they want to attend. Why have they not taken their driver’s license test? They should get up for school on their own, make their own breakfast and pack their lunch. They should be doing laundry and helping with cleaning the house and other chores.
Our household runs on a “diplomatic style” of parenting. My partner I believe that our children should take responsibility for their actions, behaviors, choices and decisions, as life is full of natural consequences. One would say we are the opposite of “helicopter parenting”. We want our children to make good choices for themselves.
How will they know what to do if we are making decisions for them and jumping in to rescue them every time they make a mistake or a bad choice? How do we raise competent children if we do everything for them?
My kid left his homework on the table; no, I will not deliver his homework to school. My kid got up late and missed breakfast because he decided to sleep in; No, I am not his alarm clock, he has one next to his bed. My kid has no clean gym shorts because he didn’t wash them. No, I will not wash them for him, he is capable of washing his own clothes, as he has known how to use the machines since he is 9 years old. What? My kid is getting D’s in school? No, I will not hound his teachers asking them for make-up homework or try to get him out of the situation he has created on his own accord. However, I will give him incentives to do better; Every A he gets, he can earn $100., for every B, he can earn $50., For any C or D, he receives nothing. If he receives an F, it will cancel out any A he has earned.
As adults, our job is to empower our kids by providing them opportunities to learn from their mistakes, fall and get up again. Hence the world in which we live. What are your goals as parents? Are you looking to oversee them when they are in college? Or is your goal to raise, happy, competent and self-reliant adults as they navigate through their teens? Let go, let them make their own decisions so they can learn on their own without interference.