Following my article earlier this week titled: My biggest parenting failure. I felt it necessary to also share some of my successes. After all, every cloud has a sliver lining. And everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses.
My weakness; as I shared earlier; is that being a mom to a second baby and working full time. I’m struggling to spend enough time with my older daughter Zoey.
So, what is my greatest parenting success?
My greatest parenting success I believe, is raising a strong and independent girl. Zoey was our firstborn and neither my husband nor I knew what we were doing. Yes, we had read a LOT of parenting books. We made sure to know all the important milestones in the first months. But let’s face it, your parenting style chooses you, and you only truly discover the type of parent you will be once your children arrive.
I always thought I would be an uptight and strict mom. Especially because that is how I am at work – I’m very organized and precise. I thought I’d be one of those moms that strongly believe in a routine with their kids. One of those moms that run after their kids with a wet wipe to make sure their faces and hands are clean. It turns out that I’m the exact opposite.
However I realized that being more relaxed in my parenting has given my daughter a chance to develop her own personality and ability to function independently.
Even though she is still very young, she already has a good and well developed idea of who she is.
I realized this when one morning when my husband and I woke up to find her and our 1 year old son happily sitting in the living room and playing. It turned out that when baby brother woke up, she took him out of his crib and started playing with him to give us (mom and dad) some more time to sleep.
I think it is extremely important for kids to be able to be independent and self confident. Especially while they are still young – heaven knows they’ll have enough angst as teenagers, so let’s make their foundation as solid as possible.
So how do you raise independent children?
What things can you as a parent do to help you child develop their independence?
Take a look at our list below:
- Give your children love, but also show them respect. Unconditional love is the best way to show your child that you are there for them when they need you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that by doing everything for your child, you are showing them how much they mean to you.
- Teach them that they do have some control in their lives. This can be achieved by allowing them to make decisions for themselves. While they are still young and don’t really understand how to make good decisions – give them a choice and let them choose for themselves.
- Show them that you have confidence in their abilities. Motivate them by being positive and uplifting – if you are positive then they will also feel more confident in their abilities.
- Provide guidance, but let them make their own decisions. Explain to them how to do certain tasks and be there to support and guide them – but don’t do it for them. Only take over if you see that they are really struggling and it is starting to break down their confidence.
- Let them do things for themselves and give them some age appropriate chores to do as well. This is important for their development, especially when they start developing a sense of responsibility.
- Praise your child when they successfully do something for themselves. Everyone love a little bit of praise every now and then. Even if they weren’t able to do everything themselves find something that they were good in and praise that. Praising them will help build their confidence in these tasks.
For ideas on age appropriate chores, take a look at the following websites:
- Focus on the Family: Age Appropriate Chores.
- Web MD: Divide and Conquer Household Chores.
- Life Hacker: The Chores Kids Can Do, By Age Group.
What is your biggest parenting success? How did you achieve this success? Share your comment with us below.