The dictionary definition of independence is "not relying on or requiring someone else, not dependent, not subject to control by someone else." In this country we celebrate July 4th as our Independence Day, the day we declared to the world that we were a self sufficient body and would no longer be controlled by laws and rules that were not our own. Independence is a highly revered character trait and yet we often don't allow our kids to experience this. We are afraid for them, and often for good reasons but this fear holds them back and keeps them from growing and learning. Pushing for growth, taking risks and allowing a person to experience failure and accomplishments is a recipe for long term success. We want to protect our children, of course, we want to decrease their stress and anxiety, yes, but we do not want to do this at the expense of their potential achievements. So teach them independence- don't make their bed for them, insist they bathe themselves, once they are tall enough to reach the knobs on the washing machine, have them do their own laundry. These skills will not only teach them self sufficiency which is invaluable especially in a group residential setting but will also pave the way for bigger and better progress as they develop. Set the expectations young that they can take care of so many of their own needs and by the time they are grown they will be ready for a less restrictive environment. Just remember- the more you do for them the less they will do for themselves. Independence is an amazing feeling that should not be lost on our kids.
Have a Safe & Happy 4th from all of us at Latham!
Manager of PWS Services
“What we instill in our children will be the foundation upon which they build their future.”
Chatham House: Preparing Students to Live in the World
Circle of Courage
We Do Not Walk Alone