Is Your Upbringing Stopping You From Raising Independent Children?
Updated: May 14
It all started with a pack of skittles! Yes, you read this correctly Doll, who is now 9, begged her dad for some skittles when he left the home one morning to run errands. He came back with none and, my 9-year old stated, bold and proud, "I have money, I will go to 7-11 and get them myself"! He laughed and said, "you don't have any money", and she said "yes I do", pulling out her glitter wallet from target filled with dollars and cents.
I'm in earshot chucking at this banter and, she goes on to say, "so can I go, daddy?". I freeze! In the middle of washing dishes. This now funny banter just got serious for me! I wait for a response as she goes on to debate, "I'm big enough, and I know where the store is and how to get back"! I'm now holding my breath, as I'm sure she was as well waiting for the answer.
Now to give you some context, the store is 2-blocks away. We've lived in our neighborhood for over 8-year's and, hubs and the dolls frequent the store regularly. Everyone knows them! But I was still scared!
I hear her shuffling so, I peek around the corner and see her putting on a coat, getting her wallet and mask and, my eyes got big as I hear the hubs say, "ok, you go there, you don't speak to anyone and come straight back"!. My mouth now open because my mind is in panic mode!
My mom NEVER let me out of the house as a kid. I remember being able to see the ice cream truck from our apartment window, that's how close it was, and begging to go and get snacks and, the answer was always no! Even when we moved into a home with a huge yard, I would beg to go outside and, the answer was, "not without me"! The era I grew up in caused parents to evoke fear into the kids due to violence and sometimes the parent's fear of the "what if" factor. I was placed, in a bubble that I eventually broke as a teenager.
When I became a mom, I promised that I would not raise my kids in the same manner, BUT the "trauma" of not being encouraged to be independent as a kid is always triggered when raising children with independence.
I looked at hubs and mouthed, "are you for real?" he shook his head yes and mouthed, "I will follow behind her where she can't see me". That did not ease me as much as you would think. I wanted to scream out, "nope, get in the car, I will take you", but I didn't because I knew this was her moment to grow a bit independently.
So off she went, with her dad not too far behind! When she returned, she was smiling and proud of her achievement! I asked her how she felt, and she said "good"! I asked her was she scared, and she said, "a little bit, but I did it anyway"! As I sat there and listen to her mini trip with
a proud smile of how she crossed the street on her own and counted her money proudly to pay for her sweets, I knew that holding my fears at bay just made her a bit more courageous and independent!
I learn 3 things that day:
Let your children push you through your personal fears.
If you let your child do something they're adamant about they just may surprise you.
Teaching your children to be independent helps to erase some of those parenting fears.
Has your child taught you anything lately?