Letting My Child Do It All by Herself

As Dr. Steve Kussin of CBS New York recently said: “Consequences are what follow as a result of particular actions.” He refers to the fact that while we are busy getting our kids into the right colleges, and in some cases, nursery schools, grammar schools and high schools, we are sorely lacking in helping them become independent, forward thinking adults, who can make good decisions, so that they can become contributing members to society.

Anyone who knows me, knows how close I am with my daughter, Sam. They also know the challenges that I, like almost every parent, face when it comes to raising an independent human being. From the time Sam brought in her first self-made art project in Kindergarten, an animal which…I don’t know what she called it… it was an orange with two cloves for eyes and a piece of apricot for the mouth… to most recently, when she moved out to Denver and landed her first job post college, with no prospects at the time btw, and only her meager savings, her mantra has always been: I can do it all by myself!

In hindsight, Sam HAS done it all by herself, and much like Frank Sinatra, she has done it HER way. Not always the easy way, sometimes the risky way, but always with her parents giving her the tools and setting the boundaries. It’s not easy and NEVER fun! Really? It’s fun telling your 15 year old kid they can’t go out on a Friday night because they did something inappropriate and now you have to listen to the whining and begging until the boundaries open up again? I THINK NOT! Teaching your kid the consequences of her actions….be they good or bad: THAT is our responsibility as parents.

We need to start worrying a little more about our kid knowing right from wrong, understanding that the company they keep is a reflection of who they are and where they are going, and that every action has a reaction: positive or negative.

Pushing your kid to be the the best athlete with the highest grades is great. But only if she realizes that every decision she makes in life has consequences. And being able to make good decisions in life is the true key to success.

Inspiration for this blog post: