The Process of Raising and Adult: Part #3 – The Teenage Years
The middle school and high school years are the final moments to for your child to be practicing being responsible with their independence. You can utilize what we call the bulls eye approach with this independence practice. This means giving them little bits of independence and when they prove trustworthy you can give them a little bit more. If a teen breaks trust you can just back up the boundaries for a time until they prove trustworthy again. You can check out more on the “bulls eye approach” by clicking here.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this weeks topic.
The Process of Raising and Adult: Part #2 – The Elementary Years
For the elementary school student,there are obviously still boundaries for their protection, but a parent can still be looking for more ways to put personal decision making into their training program. For example, choose to look at the “getting out of bed in the morning ordeal,” not as a nightmare but a training dream! Learning how to get up and be responsible in the morning is a huge part of independence. There are probably many college freshmen who secretly wish their parents spent more time on this area when they accidentally sleep through their 8am class.
Another area that a parent can start training more independent decision making for the older child, is chores. Chores teach responsibility as well as life skills. There is also financial decision making that comes along with allowance. Parents need begin to give their children the opportunity to make decisions on their own and then be there to hold them accountable and talk through the decision. Teaching saving and spending is a great way to do this. Even when there are decisions that you think are not the best, allow them to make them. Learn to “discuss and release” with the small things because obviously for safety sake there are a lot of decisions we can’t allow our children to make.
Allowing our child to fail is one of the hardest things to do as a parent but part of the process in training independence. Be there to support and train through the small mistakes!
For more on this topic listen to today’s podcast.
The Process of Raising and Adult: Part #1 – Keep the Goal in Mind
It is easy through out the parenting process to get discouraged through the long haul. One of the ways to fight that is to keep our eyes on the goal and take baby steps towards independence. We can begin to train our child in independence even in the early years as they begin to ask for it. There are many ways to train a young child in independence. It obviously begins to happen naturally through the toddler years. They begin to feed themselves, dress themselves, and potty train. We can utilize this time in their lives to help encourage them in decision making. We can be intentional, even though it may not be time effective, to allow them areas to train in independence such as choosing their own clothes. Practice in decision making can also be trained in this time, for example learning to pick up toys before getting out new ones, which teaches responsibility. A parent of an older toddler can allow them little areas of independence in learning to play by themselves in their room. There are many small areas that may be a few extra minutes of training for a parent but so worth the baby step in teaching a young child independence.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.
Raising a Non-Conforming Adult
Why is this concept of independence so important? It impacts way beyond your child eventually being emancipated from your home. We want our child to be able to make decisions “independent” of what the culture around them is deeming acceptable. We are reminded in Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
This is such an important concept for us as parents to focus on because it not only impacts their relationships with others but their relationship with God. They have to be able, as leaders, to rise above what others and culture dictates is ok and learn to seek what God says. This is an area that we can begin to help them with as they learn how to cope through peer pressure in the tween years through the teen years. Keep in mind that this process is a slow two decade long training as we begin to emancipate them more and more. It’s a marathon of training all through the parenting process not just a sprint near the end.
Keep checking back this week as we start to look at practical ways to help your child learn to be more and more independent.
Independence vs. Dependence
When our children are born they are completely dependent on us for everything. This phase of infancy is for relationship development. We are there to meet their needs to begin to model God’s provision and that He will never leave us or forsake us. Dr. Sears suggests, as the child leaves infancy and goes into toddlerhood this is the time to slowly, over a decade long process, create independence. The goal is to train an independent thinker, independent “doer” and independent follower of Christ. We want to train leader who can go out into the world and be used by God to change the world. There is a necessary slow moving process for training each child to become independent and emancipated, where we as parents “pass of the baton” to God. This takes choosing to take charge of the parenting process, rather than allowing the culture around you dictate the parenting lesson plan. We will spend the rest of this week breaking down the planned emancipation process. Make the choice to be intentional about raising an independent child, choose to parent on purpose.