Thursday, July 4, 2013

Raising An Independent Kid

I used to be a very bookish parent. When something scares me, I'd read up and read up thinking that if I read more about it then I'd be so knowledgeable I won't ever make a mistake about my parenting decisions. I thought reading and more research would make me a perfect parent.

But I would later find out that such is not the case. And that parenting is still led more by instinct than learned through research  And that it is a learning in progress and not something you learn overnight or over weeks of reading. I believe that each child is unique and it's probably wiser to say that they demand the equal amount of uniqueness in the parenting style department.

I'm not very fond of labels because I easily forget them and confuse them between one and the other. So I really don't have a label for the parenting style I subscribe to. What I am sure though is, I would as much (given my limitations as a working mom) want to be an active participant in raising my kid. And I believe I can only maximize that if I become intentional with my parenting decisions. 

So even if I am tempted to always give in to my kid's every whim, every want, every desire and every request I try to step back and survey my options first. I try not to be dictated by the norm which is to measure my motherhood success by being able to immediately provide for her every need (and even want). Even if turning down some of her request pinches every corner of my heart, I do it because my natural parenting instinct tells me I am teaching her to be independent by doing so.

Yes, it is very fulfilling to be able to provide for all of our kid's needs. But the fact remains, we will never always be around to give them and help them with everything they need. I do recognize that part of my responsibility as a parent is to equip and teach my daughter fundamental life survival skills. I do not have a list of what they are, I only have my own personal experiences to guide me through. I do think life has somehow equipped me with enough lessons to impart to my kid. I will try my hardest to take only what is necessary though. I would not want to overwhelm her with my must-do's. I do not want her to live my life. I want her to create her own adventures but armed with just enough wisdom from mom to help her make her own decisions.

I watched my baby grow from a very dependent infant to a strong-willed preschooler. I'm sure there's going to be more fascinating developments to look forward to in the coming years. But every time she comes to me to show proudly how she'd managed to do something on her own, my heart swells.

Such is the delight you get from being a hands on parent. My husband isn't as hands on as I am. But I do hope in time, I inspire him to get more involved. Because the fulfillment you get from it is always a hundredfold. 


Irene Felix said...

sana di tayo working mom no? hehe :)guilty ako dyan, sometimes I easily give in sa mga gusto ng mga kids...haaayyy

Maggie said...

I used to be dependent on books too! But now, my decisions become more natural na. I learn as my son learns. Instinct and intuition become the primary source for decision making. I guess mothers do know least for now. hehe.

faye paras said...

I - we are all great moms. that i am sure. but i think it's okay to feel guilty at times, it gives you the opportunity to rethink your actions. right?

Mags - agree! hmmm maybe we do need to start with the books no? parang schooling lang, after mo gumradweyt sariling diskarte na? :)

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