"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Monday, August 31, 2009

Independence

I read this on Facebook this morning, and found it timely and appropriate for this time of year, when everyone is sending their 5 year olds off to school. The "experts" will tell you that kids need school to learn to separate, that they need it to become independent. Just yesterday, I was watching The Doctors with Spencer, and the OB/Gyn was talking about how important it was for kids to learn to separate at a young age (of course this was in the context of extended breastfeeding, another post altogether) Clearly not an advocate of attachment parenting!

I still remember Spencer's speech therapist extolling the virtues of separation to me when he cried. She told me that it was good for him to separate from me, and that as his mom I just needed to "be strong" and let him go. He was barely three at the time. It's little wonder that that relationship ended, badly, a few months later.

I accept and in fact welcome the fact that my children are temporarily dependent on me, to varying degrees. This stage is so short and so precious! I am enjoying having them close, and being attached to them. I am likewise enjoying watching them gain their independence in their own time in their own way.

Independence is important, no doubt. But trying to force it? What's the price? It should - and will - come naturally and gradually - if you let it.

"It is the nature of the child to be dependent, and it is the nature of dependence to be outgrown. Begrudging dependency because it is not independence is like begrudging winter because it is not yet spring. Dependency blossoms into independence in its own time." Peggy O'Mara







3 comments:

Erika Seirup said...

Excellent, excellent, excellent blog post Jen! Whole-heartedly agree.

Alice said...

So timely for me as well, and as usual, very well said.

Joie said...

i concur!

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