Ready or Not? Trial & Error Is the Only Way to Raise Independent Kids by Tanya Kuzmanovic
Waiting for our kids to request specific freedoms is sometimes the catalyst for granting them independence – especially in terms of older children. But it’s not always this simple. Sometimes as parents, we need to take the reins. Consider this social experiment I once conducted:
It was a Tuesday morning and my son and I were at our local mall's food court. He told me he was hungry, so on a whim I handed this eager 4-year-old a 20 dollar bill and told him to buy his lunch. Then I sat back and watched. Despite not yet reading, despite never having done anything like this on his own before, he figured it out. He bought his own lunch.
Sometimes, our kids will surprise us.
Allowing our kids independence will always be somewhat of an experiment. It may cause us concern and worry and hand wringing. We may not always be there to watch them and pick them right up when they stumble. We might not be within earshot to coach them and guide them along. In fact, we might have to actually nudge them out of the nest.
If your kids request some independence, consider granting it to them. And if they don’t, consider conducting a social experiment.
Then sit back and observe.