Cultivating independence may seem too hard. It may seem that our children will never learn independence, but give it a bit of time. We have to cultivate independence and then they will learn, but part of the training process is to “teach” independence. I have homeschool moms tell me all the time that they want their children to be more independent in their academics. Independence comes, but it is a matter of time for different areas of life. There are several areas of independence worth cultivaing in your children. They include areas of independence for self-care, academic study, spiritual growth, and financial responsibility.
Begin at a young age teaching children to care for themselves. We automatically begin teaching them as they become toddlers and begin walking. If they can walk, then they can pick up their toys. This is just the beginning of teaching them self care in picking up after themselves.
Stop doing it all for them. Each school year we plan and we organize for the new school year. I see and hear of so many who do all that for the children instead of with the children. Include the children in the preparations for the school year. Engage your child in getting ready for the school year so they understand that process in order to get to the learning process.
What is the goal for spiritual independence? Teaching spiritual independence can be challenging as we want to be sure the foundation is there, but at the same time, we need to teach them to think and study for themselves. During the teen years they ask lots of questions and as they grow to adulthood, they begin to form their own standards and convictions. Teaching them independence and study skills to find the answers they seek is key.
The importance of teaching finances to our children determines their independence. If they do not know how to manage their finances they will be dependent for a very long time. Start early. I remember we had little banks that we used at a young age. They were able to separate their allowance and any gift money they were given to begin saving. By the time ours were each 16, they had bank accounts. This helped them to begin learning how to use a bank account and get used to the growing technology we use within the banking system today.
Join me as I discuss the four areas toward cultivating independence.