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Do we really want Independent Kids? - Issue 297
May 03, 2013
Hi there! ....

A highlight for me this week has been to watch Daniel’s friends give a day of their ‘school holidays’ to help him with a media project he is doing for Australian History. Both Naomi and Daniel are working hard to get their projects finished so they can move onto the next project I have planned for them. Naomi is working with a fellow homeschool friend but Daniel has been predominately working on his own so it was a delight to see his friends (homeschooled and not) give to help him. Friendships are a precious thing.

Live life with your kids!

If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

Do we really want Independent Kids?

I have often heard parents say that their goal in raising their children is independence. I have to disagree. I do not want my child to be independent – independent from what? Independent from others? God made us for fellowship, we need people. Independent from rules? I don’t think so! We want our kids to obey the law of the land. We need to be careful with the words we use, as our words define ideas and those ideas will shape our kids.

Instead of independence I want my kids to be self governed. That is, I want them to have the skills to be able to rule their passions and direct their choices. To do this I need to:

  • Help them see that they are sinners, and need Christ. They cannot govern themselves well while sin rages in their heart.
  • Teach them God’s word – Thy word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against thee (Psalm 119:11)
  • Teach them to respond to people and circumstances in a way that pleases God.
  • Give them opportunity to practice making choices – and then walking them through the consequences of their choices (good or bad!)
Self governance isn’t being a rule unto yourself – doing whatever you want. Self governance only works when it is based on what is right.

I also want my kids to have the confidence to be themselves, to stand alone if they have to, to be the person God made them be and to live a life that is pleasing to God. This isn’t independence – it is being an individual.

God made individuals – each one of us is unique – but He also made us to need other people, He made us for fellowship, for family. We can be a part of a group and yet still be an individual. The Bible uses the analogy of the body – many different parts but one body. The toe, the elbow, the nose – all have a uniqueness from each other and yet work together for a common goal. Individuals living in a family are like this. We are all unique, all have our own purpose and abilities, and yet there is a common purpose as well. In our family this common purpose is to love God and love people – and each of us do it differently, but there is a connection with each other, a support for each other, and at times we do it all together.

The third thing I want for my kids is to have the skills so they can help others. People often see their kids doing chores as setting them up for independence – so that they can leave home. I don’t see it this way – I see the skills that the kids learn by doing chores around the house as skills they have to help others. For sure, these same skills will enable them to live away from home, either with others or by themselves, but that is not my motivation – independence from other people is never my objective. I have already seen my kids use their skills to help others – the girls have ironed, cooked, and cleaned to help a family in need. The boys have done outside/yard work to help others. They can set up a venue for a party or for a meeting. They can babysit and bless young parents with a night out… these skills aren’t for their own benefit but for the blessing of others.

I don’t want independent kids – kids who think they don’t need anyone – instead I want kids who are self governed from the good things in their heart, kids who know who they are, kids who have the skills to be contributors to society. What do you want?

During the week I blog at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I shared:
  • My Year Long Prayer As a part of our birthday celebrations I write a letter to the birthday person, sharing my hearts desire for them. I also design a poster to remind me to pray for them during the year.
  • There needs to be Evidence of their Learning We need to know what we are looking for when we say our children are learning.

You may like to read about Bible Study - Age Appropriate Expectations Our children need to be growing in knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

Check out other homeschool and parenting issues over at my website, Lifestyle Homeschool

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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