We all want our kids to grow strong and increase in wisdom, as this verse says Jesus did.
In fact, independence is the subject of a lot of parenting advice, and sometimes it can be rather vague. I read a book recently called Practical Parenting to Go that talks about three stages of independence that your child should go through.
I like the way the author spelled out the three phases, so here you go:
Stage 1:Assisted Performance. This means you or someone else (grandparent, sibling, teacher, coach) teaches your child by assisting him in completing a task.
Stage 2: Unassisted Performance. This stage is when you allow your child to do things on her own, with supervision if and when it is necessary.
Stage 3: Full Internalization. This stage is when your child does things without instruction or supervision. This 3rd stage is when you will begin to see what you’ve really instilled in your child.
The problem comes when you let stage 1 go on too long, or spill over into stages 2 or 3. Your child may be operating in stage 2 and suddenly you get frustrated and revert to stage 1. Or maybe he’s fully in stage 3 mode, and you get frustrated that he’s not doing the task as good or fast as you would, so you regress to stage 2 because you think you’re helping.
It’s important to recognize these stages and try to adhere to them. Of course, there may be times when your kids get lazy and revert to stage 1 mode themselves. This is not a cut and dry formula, it’s a guideline and an encouragement to you to parent your kids towards independence.
Ask yourself, is my parenting on a path that will lead my kids towards independence, or one that is hindering that growth?
Seeing our kids grow to be strong, independent adults should be your goal as a parent, and few things are more rewarding than seeing your child operate as an independent thinker who is living out the values that you’ve instilled in him.