Thursday, December 6, 2012


There are two milestones in a child's life. Some people fail to recognize them because they usually happen during some type of tantrum, but none the less they are significant. After a child's birth they are dependent upon Mom to keep them fed, in clean clothes, and out of trouble. Parents yearn for the moment when the fruits of their loins show signs of independence so the burden of dependence upon them is relaxed. Can you remember when your child first looked at you with demanding eyes and announced, "let me do it myself"?

That was them striking a blow for independence! While it certainly came at a frustrating moment as striking out to achieve one's individual freedom is usually confrontational, we most likely responded in kind with something akin to, "well go ahead then, suit yourself." It probably hurt our feeling a little to be told we weren't as needed as moments before, but that announcement should have brought pride to a parent's heart. Your child is finally independent.

Enjoy this fleeting moment! Not long after the second phase of growth kicks in. Again it goes unnoticed because it occurs in a yet another moment of frustration. "Can you do this for me?" A common phrase of the teenage vocabulary, it usually follows a statement like, "you never let me do anything I want." Or, "will you tell dad I'm old enough to do things for myself!" Despite the obvious signs of brain damage, this is a natural occurrence. I like to think of it as the initial signs of interdependence, certainly a sign your child is about to blossom into an adult and become dependent upon their mate. Look at it as a test of how interdependence fits into their lives. They haven't figured out how the guidelines of interdependence works, so they are reverting back to dependence.

This is when you have to overcome the frustration of the moment and nudge them into the understanding of how an interdependent lifestyle involves their cooperation too. The sooner they understand that principle, the quicker you'll see their independence blossom. Don't miss your chance to be the influence that promotes this growth!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

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