Raising Self-Sufficient Kids

I had a meeting yesterday with some colleagues about things we’re all involved in with television, media, books etc.  I got into a discussion with one of them, who is a pediatrician and is writing a book on parenting.  Both of us have children around the same age, we both work with families in our professions and we both agree on limiting the amount of technology our kids use.  We also agreed on teaching the importance of independence and self-sufficiency.  Our conversations led to a discussion about an incident I had with my almost nine-year-old son yesterday.

My son asked me to get him breakfast.  He has a bowl of Cherrios every morning with Silk Soy Milk.  I told him that he had to get his own breakfast.  He replied by telling me that he didn’t know how to make his own bowl of Cherrios, which is nonsense.  I would not give in to him, to which he became very upset.  After about 10 minutes of pouting he got up off the couch, got a bowl out, took out the Cheerios and Silk Soy Milk, and made his own breakfast.

This morning I was driving to work and got stuck behind a school bus in my town.  The bus stopped 3 different times and each time I watched high school kids get out of their parents car and onto the bus.  Each of these streets is a dead-end and no more that an eighth of a mile long and these kids were being driven to the bus stop.  It’s not like it was 20 degrees and snowing; it was a beautiful morning.  My mind flashed back to my high school days when I had to walk almost a mile to and from the bus stop every day, no matter what the weather was like.  Getting stuck behind that bus got me thinking even more on how important it is to raise motivated, self-sufficient kids and not get caught-up in doing everything for our kids.

If you are a parent and you want your child to grow to be a healthy, self-sufficient adult do the following:

1. Let your child walk to the bus stop.

2. Let you child make his own breakfast.

3. Let your child earn the things you buy him

4. Let your child fail

5. Give you child lots of hugs

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  • Christina Corbo

    This is so true Tom!! One thing I have learned is that, for me anyway, the hardest thing to do is #4 on the list. 

  • Christina Corbo

    This is so true Tom!! One thing I have learned is that, for me anyway, the hardest thing to do is #4 on the list. 

  • Karen

    Clearly we’re cut from the same thread.  Agree with all.

  • Karen

    Clearly we’re cut from the same thread.  Agree with all.

  • Kelly

    I wish the parents of the high school girls I coach would accept #4. Letting them learn that in a controlled environment like a golf course is such a great thing.