Raising an independently thinking child can be a blessing and a curse. You want your child to know that they can do anything they put their minds to, but, at the same time, your parenting instinct is to hold said child close and never let go!
My daughter is a sophomore in High School. From the time she was old enough to understand what we were saying to her, she asked for explanations. Not just the typical “Why?” questions. But, the “Why do I have to do it that way? Why should I do it this way and not that way?”
People asked me, “Why do you explain things to her? She’s the child, just tell her, because I’m the mommy and I said so.”
I had made the decision that I wasn’t going to be that parent. Did I occasionally say that? Yes I did. When I had a rough day and just didn’t feel like dealing with it. But, for the most part, it was much easier to explain things. Most children have issues with parting with their pacifiers. Or binky’s as I called them. We told her that the previous night was the last night with her binky. “Why?” She asked. So, we showed her the binky and where it was starting to split and tear. We told her that we didn’t want her to get hurt and we had to take it away. She looked at it, and said, “Ok.” That was it. She never asked for her binky again.
So, with that said, what are the benefits of raising an independent thinker? Here are five:
- Self confidence. They know who they are and what they want. They don’t have a fear of talking to adults and telling them what they need to do what they have to do. My daughters elementary school teachers always complimented her on how she approached them not as a student to a teacher, but, on an equal footing. She was respectful, but, she didn’t fear them.
- Determination. They know what they have to do to get what they want. They will hustle to find ways of raising money for a toy they want. My daughter offered to do extra chores for money. Birthday and Christmas money was also put away for an xBox or an iPod. Now, money is saved for concerts or conventions for her favorite singers and YouTubers.
- Planning. These children are planners! They research what they want, before going to get it. Planning goes into anything from deciding the best college for them, or what phone is the right one for their needs. Currently, my daughter is researching colleges. She’s got a binder with dividers for each college and is writing down the pros and cons of each. All out of state :(. I think momma needs to start thinking about what she wants to do when the kid is out of the house!
- Self Aware. They know who they are. Even during the tumultuous teen years, when they are struggling to discover who they are. And if they are confused? They research. They talk to others who are struggling to identify themselves. They understand that who they are has no bearing on friendships and if those friends can’t handle who they are? Then, they know that they are not friends they want to have in their lives.
- Sensitive. I know this one is a surprise. But, an independent thinker? Very, very sensitive. With the previous four benefits listed, it can be forgotten that these children still have feelings and can be hurt. By actions and words. Actions of not respecting them as individuals. Words, if their thoughts are put down and disregarded because they are a child.
With the current parental Gen X group, we started the process of becoming independent thinkers and thinking outside the box. Our parenting is very hands on, but, for the most part, from a distance. We will let our children fall, but, we’ve raised them to know when to ask for our help and when they can get up on their own.
Do you have an independent thinker on your hands? What methods do you use to let them take on the world?
Raising an independent child is a great experience. As they get older it brings its own challenges as they question more and more and yes challenger you as a parent. All of our children are independent adults, successful and most of all giving back to society.
Raising an independently thinking child is a great thing to do, although I imagine sometimes it could be hard to explain everything! 🙂
My kids are somewhat independent thinkers, but they are doing ok, so I am not worried about them. My youngest has adhd, so it’s a little harder for him.
Most of my kids are independent thinkers. They are all grown up now and I’m so proud of them. If we do everything for our children, they never learn to think independently.
I am expecting my first any moment now! I wonder if he will be an independently-thinking child. It’s fun to read about different characteristics and personalities!
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I love this, as a teacher I always try to explain things so that children can learn and understand and make their own minds up. Especially now that I have grand kids, I want them to learn independence. Thanks for sharing!
My kids were both independent thinkers. It is good in many ways, but it’s definitely had challenging moments too.
I think in the long run, it’s better to raise independently thinking children because when they are adults, they will know how to think for themselves!
This is a great list of attributes of an independent thinker. I always encourage my daughters to think creatively, analytically and independently.
Although it can be stressful at times, I am so proud to be the mom of not only but two independent thinkers. Yes, it makes life a bit more challenging but it also becomes much more rewarding.
It is DEFINITELY a challenge having that independent thinker. Especially when parent and child are very much alike? OMG.
These are great benefits of an independent thinking child. This so reminds me of my nephew. He just started nursery school yesterday and was so excited to tell me about his day. He is only 2 yrs old but he has to know how everything works and why things are done the way they are done. Thanks for sharing the benefits.
I used to drive my mom nuts. I was always fairly independent myself. I was curious about how things worked. When I was about 11 years old, my mom and step-dad had bought our first VCR player. My mom came home and I was sitting on the living room floor with it taken apart in front of me. Back then, those things cost $300! My mom FLIPPED! Demanded to know what I was doing. So I told her I wanted to see how it works. She yelled at me to put it back together before Bill (step-dad) got home. I could hear her muttering in the kitchen. “Wanted to see how it worked… Just like her damn father…” LOL! But I loved that she knew I COULD put it back together!
I would like to believe that all four of my children are independent thinkers but I do have one that still needs a little help here and there.
And absolutely nothing wrong with that! Independence also knows when to ask for help 🙂
What I love about having independent children is getting them to think for themselves. They won’t have the answers but it will be easy to guide them in the right choice.
Exactly! I love that term. We’re guiding them, not directing them. They will learn when something doesn’t work.
My dfaughter is the independent one among my two kids, she love doing stuff by herself. I remember her getting upset when she was li0ttle because I would help her in getting stuff.
I’m an independent thinker and it has always been my goal to raise my kids to be the same way. I just never thought it was smart for my parents to say because I said so. I need explanation, and I always give my kids explanation and reasons behind why I’ve decided something for them because I want them to understand and learn reasoning as well.
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Exactly! We always say, “You need to respect me because I’m your mother/father!” But, we also need to respect our children because they are individuals and deserve to be treated as such.
I am currently raising an independent and defiant daughter and man, is it difficult! I want her to be strong-willed and sassy, but not to me, hahaha!
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i think i was this independent daughter. i was not an easy child and i always had my own opinion.