Sunday, April 24, 2016

Shifting from Independent to Dependent Children

I know one of my strengths: raising independent children. At probably 9 weeks, I had all of my kids sleeping through the night, because I had followed routines that taught methods of self-soothing. Starting from pretty young, I got the kids in routines that had them getting dressed, making beds, and getting breakfast mainly on their own. (To be fair, I've always cooked my kids breakfast and probably always will for as long as they let me. But they know how to get themselves a bowl of cereal or make toast or whatever.) When I go out of town, they rock their morning routines and can make it out to the bus on their own. They know their night routines of pjs, potties, brush teeth and can easily get themselves and each other to bed. It makes it very nice when we have a babysitter because they're independent.
The other day I was reading this blog about someone's adoption story. The family has adopted multiple kids. Anyway, the mom was documenting the following weeks after adopting another child. She talked about how important it is at the beginning to establish dependency with the new child. She said kids coming from orphanages know how to do everything for themselves- soothe themselves through discomfort, hunger, pain, know how to put themselves to sleep, etc. The challenge becomes to teach them to let people into their lives and create a dependent relationship.
It has been so interesting to think about that, especially in my own realm at home. One reason I'm such a hound for raising independent kids is because it makes my life a lot easier. But reading this really stopped me in my tracks and made me think about areas I could improve on to create more of a dependent relationship with my kids. With all the kids being between the ages of 5 and 10, we've entered a different stage where needs have shifted from less physical to more emotional. And emotionally, I want more of a dependent relationship with the kids. I want them to approach Yosh and I when they are having problems with friends or image or decisions or just figuring out life. It's going to be something interesting to think about over the next little bit but it's definitely an area where I want to make strides.
Anyways, food for thought and I love food of any kind. 

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