Struggling to Make My Kids Independent

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During baby’s first year, at every well visit we got a checklist of milestones he should be hitting. It was useful and stressful all at the same time. Now 6 years in, that would be helpful. They may still give checklists at the annual well visits, but I don’t go if they aren’t getting a vaccine. So here I am trying to figure out what my 6 year old should be doing for himself. He likes to be coddled and I am a control freak, so we are still navigating him doing a lot of things on his own.

What He Does:

  • begrudgingly dresses himself
  •  sometimes gets his own snacks and drinks

What He Does Not Do:

  • bath himself without the reminder
  • remember to brush his own teeth
  • make his bed without asking

I can’t help but feel like I don’t push him enough. He is ONLY 6, and 6 is still little. I am his mama and it is my job to take care of him. Selfishly I want him to need me and lean on me. I am terrified of the day he stops asking me to walk him to the carpool van every morning. In a world where kids grow up too fast, I want him to stay innocent and his own age.

However, the end goal is to raise him to leave me. I will have failed him as his mother if I don’t push him to be independent, and figure things out for himself. The older he gets the more I want to hold on to him, but I have got to let go a little bit more. Kindergarten has helped him to come out of his shell. I am grateful for the partnership of his teachers. They push him at school and encourage me to push him at home. I am still not doing enough, and I am open to suggestions.

What are some ways you are teaching your child to be independent?

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