Downside to Having an Independent Child

Independent children are great, but what happens when independence becomes defiance?

When I was a new mom (and to a large extent I still think I am), I thought my job was to just be there for my baby. Then I began to worry (and feel a little pressure from other moms) that less attention would foster greater independence. Please take no offense if you agree or disagree. After all, wouldn’t we all love it if our babies could change their own diapers? However, to this day I have a hard time understanding why a newborn needs to cry it out and self soothe (yep, not a fan). I thought those first few months were when he needed me most and they just grow up so fast anyway.

But a lot can be said for NOT doing everything for our children. Nobody wants to be THAT mom (well, maybe some do).

Independence was another opportunity for me to re-imagine the Montessori method: independence within limits. With an entire room devoted to our son (items at his level, limited choices, read more…) he very quickly began to take pride in doing things for himself and very quickly wanted to do more for himself.

But what happens when your child wants to do EVERYTHING for themselves?

Sounds nice but sometimes the battle can get ugly.

- Child never, ever, no, no, no wants help! Children are always growing and developing. As much as I love watching my child attempt to tie his shoes or fold laundry (please, please, please) these are skills certainly beyond what he can do. It just gets a little frustrating when you are ready to leave the house, the little one is ‘tying their shoes,’ and there is suddenly a TOTALMELTDOWNEXPLOSIONBOOM tantrum just before you walk out the door. NOT the best start to some time away from the privacy of your own home.

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