Monday, August 4, 2014

The Goal of Parenting: To Work Yourself Out of the Picture

The whole goal of parenting is to raise children who can go out into the world and be independent. Easier said than done!

Sometimes as a mom I feel tempted to help my children too much. My heart wants to make things easy for them so they can enjoy their childhood, but if I don't allow them enough freedom to experience life for themselves, I am only hurting them in the long run.

At every stage of development our children can take on more and more responsibility. It is our job to gently guide and teach them and let them do what they can do for themselves.

My husband and I felt the fruit of our labor last week as we encouraged our 11-year-old to attend Boy Scout camp by himself. That was the first time in his life that we have allowed him out of our sight for that long. It was difficult. We felt a bit nervous. But we also knew he could do it. And he did! Not only did he survive a week away from mom and dad, but he THRIVED! He earned three merit badges and accomplished some rank advancement requirements.

He told us he loved the independence and freedom of being away and making decisions for himself. I'd like to believe we prepared him adequately for that by allowing him to do things for himself at home.

It was such a great week of personal growth for all of us!

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