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Helping Kids Become Independent is a Work in Progress

Mar 10, 2015 10:22AM ● Published by Pamela Hampton

Sometimes it's best to let kids figure things out on their own. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

By the time your kids are functional, and by functional I mean they can do simple things like dress and feed themselves, you've learned to become quite the micro-manager. 

There are 3 phases of early parenting

  1. Doing everything for them
  2. Teaching them to do it themselves
  3. Allowing them to do it themselves           

I am in phase three. I know my kids know what to do and when to do it, but they don’t get a chance to do it before I tell them to.

During the school year my kids are on the same schedule, and if you have been reading my blog you know I am very serious about keeping kids on a schedule.  Because they have been on this schedule for so long I promised them recently that I will be quiet and let them learn, grow and make mistakes. After all, making mistakes is part of growing up.

It’s like learning to ride a bike. They may fall a few times, but when they have it they have it! 

After my children are done with homework they know to take their book bags to their rooms. Recently my son left his by the chair in the kitchen. I didn’t say a word, and let me tell you it was very difficult. 

After my son had gotten ready for bed his book bag was still in the kitchen. I remained silent. He got into bed, and I thought my head was going to explode because the bag was still in the kitchen!   

Later, I saw him going downstairs. He told me he had forgotten something and he came back upstairs with the book bag! 

My daughter sleeps in a silk cap, and when she was ready for bed I went to her room to kiss her goodnight. The cap was on her dresser, and she was in the bed. Once again my mouth and brain had a battle. 

She asked me if I was going to tell them what to do and when to do it, and I said no. Experience is the best teacher and I assured her it was a learning process for me, as well. I kissed my princess and turned off her light with the cap on my mind. While walking out of her room she shouted for me to wait because she had forgotten to put her cap on. 

Mission accomplished!

Kid 2 Kid

This week I asked my kids if they have any advice for kids who are expected to do things without being told. My son said you should always listen to your parents because they just want you to get things done.  My daughter said doing what you're suppose to do without being told is something to do every day. So, when you get to be an adult you won't need your parents telling you what to do. 

Now it's time to tell my kids to get to bed. Don’t judge, I’m a work in progress. 

About me

 I am an Oswego mom to two wonderful kids and the wife of the greatest man I know. I have written 3 children’s books all about my kids, the stories are true and the material is endless. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from Chicago State University and a Master’s Degree from DeVry’s Keller School of Management. You can catch me around town shopping, at the movies or volunteering at my kids' school.

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