I once watched a clip from a talk show where the guest was answering audience questions. The guest was a mama who breastfed her older toddler, even though society typically looks down upon it. The toddler was around 4, if I remember correctly. ...you can imagine how those questions went. I was intrigued by an older woman who stood up and said that she taught Pre-K at a daycare, where 4-year-old's "needed to be independent." I spent a lot of time dissecting her arguments and relating them to breastfeeding. It was especially important to me that the woman who spoke up about childhood independence did not have any college education or any formal training on childhood development. This was important to me because, if she would have taken childhood development classes (or typed in a few Google searches), she would have known a bit more information about childhood independence and how the breastfeeding mother is actually very likely to raise an independent child.
I also started thinking about my own child’s independence. Is he independent? What does independence look like for a toddler? Do I even want him to be independent?! I came to these 3 conclusions and I wanted to share them with you, in case you’re over there fuming about having to tie your child’s shoes for the fifth time today. Grab a much-deserved glass of Shiraz and join me in these realizations:
- Independence actually means self-rule and separation
- Teaching children to be independent is actually quite a dependent process
- We actually want our children to be mature
All-in-all, I’ve decided that I actually do not want my child to be independent. In fact, working to help him become independent is apparently a lot more work than keeping him dependent on me and will result in utter chaos, since it is, after all, defined as freedom from control! Aside from the jokes, I came to a quick realization that true independence looks a lot different than the idea of independence that I had in my head! As we venture through motherhood, we’re bound to stumble upon information that completely upturns our own beliefs and thoughts. There’s a learning curve to this whole mom thing, huh!