Fostering Dependence vs. Independence

I have not read the book, but I am fascinated by the concept. How often do we baby our kids? How do strategically set them up for success?

A friend shared this article: “If Your Kid Left His Term Paper at Home, Don’t Bring It to Him” and it hit home. The article refers to the book: The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey. I have added it to my reading list. Of course I have yet to birth this baby, but that does not mean I do not think about how we want to raise him and how dependence can happen so early, and often without parents really knowing it is happening. The author mentions parents who go back home because the kid forgot their homework assignment or lacrosse stick — teaching kids what?

“Over-parenting or fostering dependence, as she describes bailout behavior, has the potential to undermine children’s personal confidence and robs them of the grit they’ll need to succeed in the real world, after they’ve left the safe bubble of home.”

I will tell you, I never remember my parents bringing something I forgot to school. They were at work, at one point in elementary school my mom was teaching at my very school. She was not going to leave to bring something I forgot. As my dad would have told me: “Tough luck.” He was not going to go out of his way to take care of things that were mine to remember. That was my responsibility. He never thought of it as “letting me fail.” He just knew I would learn the hard way to remember — whatever the consequences of my choices.

Food for thought.

Who Sees Your Potential?

Do you see your full potential? Or, do you have someone in your life that sees what you are capable of? There are always times in our life when we feel stuck and we need someone else to help us to look at our life and world with a new lens. I recently found this quote by Susane Colasanti on the Aubrey Road blog:

“One of the most amazing things that can happen is finding someone who sees everything you are and won’t let you be anything less. They see the potential of you. They see endless possibilities. And through their eyes, you start to see yourself the same way.”

-Susane Colasanti

There are moments in all of our lives when we have a harder time seeing the full potential in ourselves. We may feel bogged down by work, stressed out by family obligations, or just unclear on what our purpose is in life. We need that person that sees us for all our sassiness and knows what we are capable of when we cannot see it for ourselves. The person that pushes us to turn over the lump of coal and see the diamond in the rough. Sometimes it is one person, and other times it could be multiple people in our life that see our potential and push us to look at life in new ways.

When we are too weak, cloudy, or broken down they help us to fight for ourselves. When we are not taking care of ourselves, or do not treat others well, this someone can act like a mirror for us to truly see how we are acting. It might mean they tell us that we need to work less and play more. Or maybe, we need to stop being scared and go back to school and take our career to new and different levels. Or it might be that we need to challenge and stand up to a family member, and past attempts have not been successful.

They cheer us on, anchor us, and coach. They praise and give us words of affirmation when we need them, hold us together when we need it most, and yell and challenge us when we need to hear something strong and loud. The result? We believe, get inspired, and move towards our potential. We thrive.

Who in your life sees your potential?