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July 17, 2008


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San Diego Momma

That it's OK to not be like everyone else.
I want them to be comfortable in their OWN skin, which is a skill I never picked up well.

Nora Bee

What does it say that he wears blue crocs and only gets a haircut when it gets mullet-y?

I would like him to learn about recognizing his own emotions. There's more, but that seems important now.


Self sufficiency is up there (I've seen what happens to kids who aren't taught to be self sufficent and it's not pretty). But tied with that for first place, if not more important, is for them to figure out what they love and then find a way to make a living doing it. And to appreciate what they have. And so many other things. I just can't pick one thing.

I will say, though, that now that the kids are older and hubby and I are getting to know them as adults, we are so impressed with these kids. They watched and listened and learned and are truly incredible young people.

Mrs. G.

I love this post, because sometimes I fear we are raising a generation of kids who do too little and expect too much. I hope I have instilled my kids with the gift of stick-with-it-ness and humor.


I LOVE the one save a year thing. I'm totally borrowing that. As an elementary school teacher, I really don't like it when parents rescue the kids by bringing in their homework. And I hate the disruptive "your lunch is in the office" phone calls that interrupt math class every single morning.

As for me, I am teaching my son the same kind of self-sufficiency. He's 8, but he can cook, do laundry, dishes, and clean a bathroom. I also am not a "don't do that, you'll hurt yourself" mom. And my son has never been to the emergency room and rarely gets sick.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!

Social responsibility is high on my list.

Please try not to notice Laura's outfit on Friday; whatever it may be, it probably won't match and will say to you, "American Girl Doll Meets American Idol Meets B-Girl."

I'm going to email you photo proof shine your blog wouldn't let me put in an html link. Wah?

Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy

I want my son to grow up to be a good man. Meaning, he knows how to treat people with respect, is a gentleman and has a least one "go to" meal he can prepare on his own. And understands the importance of nice shoes.

phd in yogurtry

Oh my. One thing? Hmmm.

Be kind while you are putting education first.

Mismatched outfits rule here. Not because I value it. Because I'm tired of banging my head against the wall trying to instill the notion that plaids and florals don't mix. I've come a long way, from dressing twins alike (and the OCD that can emerge) to anything goes of their liking. So, their mismatched clothes is a sign of my triumph over knocking myself out.


One of my friends is 29. Her brother is 34. The other brother is in the middle. Their parents are very rich. My friend and the 34 year old don't do one thing on their own. She has HER MOM come to help her clean her own apartment. Her mom makes doctors and hair appts for her where the mom lives. I lost all respect for her and the 34 year old. The other brother works and can't believe his siblings are dependent on their parents. He's not at all PLUS he has two kids.

All parents should take a page from your book....

Tootsie Farklepants




I've written quite a few posts about bullies. I don't ever want to hear that my kids were hateful towards another child and so far, so good.


In my about me section I have this:
My husband and I are doing our best to raise open minded, caring, happy kids.
So there's that plus I'm big on letting them do things on their own too.
My 9 year old "cooks" and with the help of a step stool the 5 year old can do laundry.
Great post!

Mary Alice

I love YOU!

THe ability to problem solve.

We all come up against things in life - both little and big - that impede progress. I want my children to be able to problem solve, to be able think outside the box and create ways to continue progress.

I guess that is a form of independence.

I am struck by how many people wait around for others to do things for them, because they are incapable of breaking down a complex issue, creating and implementing a plan to solve it.


Truly? That they are children of a loving Heavenly Father, and what it means.

In my life, I can really instill that, then the kindness to others, the desire to work, the independence, resposibility, all fall into place.

Why do we clean our room? 'Cuz it's more peaceful to be in, then, and peace enables us to hear our Father better.

Why do I work hard in school? Because our Father needs us to be self-sufficient. When we are, He can then use us better to accomplish His purposes on earth.

Why do we do things to make Heavenly Father happy? Because, like our Dad on earth (we have a great one so this analogy works well), He loves us, and wants us to try to be like Him, so when we are done on this Earth, we can live with Him again.

So, yeah, that they are children of God.

Jen on the Edge

Amen sister!

I couldn't agree with you more on any of this. I'm getting my kids closer and closer to independence too, with an eye toward them not totally freaking out once they're off at college.


This is a GREAT post. I agree with you on ALL points. I have done a good job with the independence too, but I am guilty of more than ONE save a year...I need to work on this part. But I do believe that my girls at 15 and 12 can do anything for themselves. (except drive) This was true when they were 7 and 9 too.
The one thing I drill into my kids...good VALUES. Manners, being nice/compassionate/considerate to others...that is very important to me.

Memarie Lane

We do the natural consequences thing to, with some unnatural ones thrown in. Like, if you don't put your toys away in the text five minutes, they're going in the trash."

Trouble comes into the picture when we mix with more permissive families. When we lived in FL there was a mom in our playgroup who was permissive to an extreme. She let her son do ANYTHING he wanted, she believed saying no would inhibit his personal growth. This includes allowing him to completely destroy another child's birthday cake before everyone had even gotten a piece. I saw it myself, she actually smiled and took pictures as he did it, while the birthday girl's mother looked on, shellshocked.


You are so practical--I am delighted to meet another mom who feels this way! Likewise, it's natural consequences (in part because then I am not totally responsible for "punishment" this way) and chores--my kids have to deal with their own toys, clothes, put away their laundry, clear their dishes, help set the table. And my expectations will ramp up as they age!

You should write a book about parenting. seriously.

Little Miss Sunshine State

I wanted them to be able to face a problem without panic. Stay calm, think clearly, get help if you need it.
Now they are 20 and 23. Most of the time, they call to tell us what happened and how they are dealing.
They have handled medical emergencies, car breakdowns, their housing and financial issues.


To stand on their own two feet BUT to recognize we all need help from time to time and to ASK when help is needed.


I did a post today that touches on this topic and my youngest child. You are welcome to read it.

My main goal in child rearing was to raise kids that could think for themselves and become productive adults. My oldest two are successful in those areas. I may not agree with their choices, but they've learned to make decisions instead of being overly influence by their peers or the media. We also dealt in consequences, especially when they wanted to blame others. Consistant reminders that their decisions got them there seemed to eventually work. They don't rely on their father and I to bail them out!


Hi, I'm new here. I was just talking about this. I work as a nanny, and I have noticed that rich people never seem to teach their children to clean up after themselves! Or to have respect for their belongings! Toys are like dixie cups - if you break one, another one will magically appear, so throw them around, who cares?!

I would say that I want to teach my son respect - for others, for the world we live in, for his belongings, for himself. Another big one is to enjoy life - to make the most of each day.

teresa (maggiegracecreates)

Respect - themselves and respect others.

My oldest has never had a curfew - I expect her to let me know what time she thinks she will be home and if that changes she notifies me. This is a sign of respect for me - it lets me know when to start worrying.

self sufficiency is way up too -

my biggest advice - do not settle for second best if there is something you can do about it.


Ii wish my little beagle would stop tripping me up when we walk and eating nasty things on the sidewalk, other than that she's perfect.
I am losing count here, would you please post a little background soon on all your kids? Do you have 5 or 6?


I would say independence because it's way I have always been. This independence isn't always easy because, unfortunately, kids will sometimes make decisions that you don't necessarily agree with.

Smalltown Mom

Great post!

There are so many things I want my kids to be. "Be a good person" is a big one. So they are kind and pleasant to be around. Yes, they wear a lot of black and rocknroll shirts, and have long hair. But we like them.


That self-sufficiency thing is so important when you have a gaggle of kids, isn't it? There are many values I want to impart to my kids, that they are beloved of God and us; respect for themselves and others; finding their passions and developing them; problem-solving; learning for life; serving others...


I find myself everyday listing off to my 6 week old all of the people that love her. An I finish it off reminding her that the most important thing is that she love herself.


You and I have similar parenting practices. My friends were amazed when my then 5yo could make his own lunch! It's not rocket science. I truly value their individuality and can deal with weird hair/clothes as long as they're not doing drugs, I'm happy!


I have a friend I wish I could show this post to but 1. her kids are grown, 2. she wouldn't appreciate it, 3. she thinks blogs are for 14 year olds ;-)


I've have started to realize I did not do this well with my college girl. I hope I can do better with the other two.


My goal for my girl is being comfortable in her own skin. A sense of humanity and community.

I was pretty OCD, fairly sure I could mold her any which way i wanted, then she was diagnosed Aspergers.

She taught me the most valuable lesson of letting go, relinquishing control and finding appropriate goals. She is doing marvelously now, starting second grade. But I have learned that there is no way i can judge her behavior by other kids. We have to work within our own limits, while always stretching farther.


FANTASTIC post!! Only ONE thing... man that's a tough one. It would have to be to have the self esteem to think for themselves.
(and to see the world as one human family and our role is to be of service to all) [I knew I couldn't share just one thing!]

Amy the Mom

I SO needed to read this. I'm actually a little ashamed though after comparing it to my frequent enabling.



Wow, are we the same person? Ok, you have an extra kid, but when it comes to chores and being responsible for yourself, we pretty much have the exact same views. I also have the "one-save" rule. As in, I will bring you your forgotten softball glove/lunch/homework assignment/book ONCE per school year...after that, tough cookies. When my five-year old wants me to get her something to eat or drink, I tell her she knows where the kitchen is and that she may be the baby of the family, but she's certainly not helpless.

I guess what I want most for my kids in self-reliance. You need to be able to handle things in your life by yourself. You need to be able to talk to your teachers, make your own dinner, and wash your own clothes. I want them to be able to take care of themselves, and not have to rely on anyone else to do things for them. Also, my 16 year-old has a job that she will continue to work, albeit limited hours, during the school year. Why? So she can pay for her own gas and entertainment, of course. ;)

Deb D

ahhh - one thing - independence is high up there on the list. Apparently I've done I better job than I was prepared for because Computer Dude is pretty much 100% independent in his first year away, arranging leases and subleases and paying bills without any input from me and Engineering Guy is heading down the same path making all the arrangements and handling all the correspondence with his college. I guess deep down I still wanted them to need me a bit (but I'll get over it!). When I compare them to a lot of their friends they are anomalies because they can cook (although they rarely do), clean, and make their own appointments. I don't think I ever did more than one save a year but I don't know if that says more about them or the fact that I have been told I'm pretty annoying about reminding them of things!


i'd have to say it's independence...after all, they have feet and legs and hands and arms and brains too, why should i be the one to do it all for them? i have 4 kids as well, and i just don't have time to do it all for everyone, and i have no desire to do so...

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