Dependent or Dependable Children?

by Ron Huxley, LMFT

When children enter the world they are completely dependent on big people for everything. Over time they become more independent. This is seen most dramatically in various neurological growth spurts during the “terrific two’s” and “thrilling teen” years. It can be a time of challenging parental authority. Children need learn to do things on their own, make important decisions, and establish a unique identity. These are also trying times and worrying times for parents and may cause us to not let go of a our grip.  

The goal is not to keep a child dependent or just teach independence although both are part of life. We will always be dependent on someone for something so purely teaching independence is just part of the goal. A more realistic pursuit is to teach our children to be dependable. This means that a child is worthy of trust and has integrity in life and it will be one of the most important survival skills (and arguably one of the most lacking) needed for a successful adult life.