We all grow up of course…not just in height and age but also in wisdom and independence.
It is a funny thing independence; we need to first be completely dependent on our parents and have parents willing to let us be dependent on them (don’t get me wrong please, but society for the last decade or so has been pushing us to have independent children as early as possible thus increasing rates of suicide, injury through high risk taking, violence, peer pressure and more because again, children need to be dependent on us first!) to have self sufficient children as adults later on.
When we let independence take its natural course, children will also grow in self respect and self esteem.
This year, I saw a lot of growing up at home and I feel very proud to see my children reach new heights.
My eldest, at 13 years of age, has now mastered independence within the home. What does that mean? He is able to care for his body, he can prepare food for himself and others and he can also care for our home and do all chores one does at home. This Summer, he is starting a new level of independence…caring for himself outside the home, relationship with friends and people he meets outside. It is an exciting, terrifying, joyful and sorrowful moment for me seeing this.
Independence is also about being able to make your own decisions and I have increasingly been seeing this with my oldest two.
My middle child, at 11 years, has come to the conclusion that she will stop ballet classes. She hates the pressure put upon her to perform and do exams and wants simply to enjoy herself. Do I have fears she will regret it? Of course! Did I try and persuade her otherwise? Not exactly, but I did give her food for thought and options, with the hope that her decision is the correct one. Whatever, I will support her as she finds her way in this world.
It is very difficult to be sure as a parent to give sufficient space to our children to grow, while keeping their boundaries intact. I think, the biggest lesson that came to me in recent weeks, is the fact, that I need to give more space to my 7 year old as well. The more I see growth in my older children, the more I understand how I need to give the gift of growth to my youngest. Something, I am very reluctant to do- because it is accepting that my last baby is not really a baby any more. I know you get that feeling!