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messageguarding against future dependency in our kids
Posted by Zacdrumbaker March 06, 02:37PM

Does anyone have any ideas about what we can do to prevent our children from developing dependence in their adolescence and beyond? I have three children and I also have plenty of experience with dependence in later life. It seems to me that dependence begins as an agent of habit forming when we are young. If knowledge of how this happens is factored in to how we parent our children, it could be one of the most valuable lessons for acheiving freedom in adolescent and adult life. But how do we tackle this?

Any thoughts or experiences welcome!

messageRe: guarding against future dependency in our kids
Posted by womanofdulwich March 06, 05:10PM

1. As a parent do not be available 24/7.
2. Do not become a taxi service.
3. Give a small pocket money and make sure jobs are done in return for extra money.
4. Make your children share in planning and cooking meals.

messageRe: guarding against future dependency in our kids
Posted by Pugwash March 07, 02:40PM

Our daughters were encouraged at an early age to cook meals for everyone. Youngest daughter could do a roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings by the time she started at secondary school. Give them some money and send them shopping for food for the family for say a weekend and expect them to cook for everyone.

Give a monthly allowance (rather than pocket money)to encourage budget planning. Decide together what items that parents will be financially responsible for and what kids are expected to pay for. We started this when our girls were around 13/14 and wanted trips to cinema/going out with friends etc. They got weekly pocket money prior to this and expected to keep room tidy and help with odd household tasks.

Allow some freedom but be firm as to house rules i.e. school night had to be home by certain time, weekends x time.
Always know where they are - i.e. visiting x friend's house, going to x cinema and who they are with.

Have an Open House and encourage them to bring friends around, so you get to know who they are with, and know friends personalities and their influences on your child. With eldest daughter, it was nothing unusual to have 4 or 5 friends popping round for the evening - consequently even in late teens and at Uni, many of friends still kept in touch with us.

Whilst not be a willing taxi service, if possible and situation arises, be prepared to pick up from venues, especially late evenings. Install safety measures to be taken when out - i.e. not use phone in public places, never walk home alone at night. We encouraged sleepovers so that if daughters were out with friends, that rather than splitting when journey home, they stayed at our house. This was agreed with all the parents of friends that no one ever went home alone from an event.

Discuss events that are happening in the neighbourhood and wider, encourage independent thinking. I always remember going to a parents evening and hearing my daughter's sociology teacher talking about her way of thinking and analysing situations and asking us if we had discussions at home. As I was doing a degree at the time, there were plenty of ideas swapping and suggestions from my daughter (doing GCSEs at the time) for my own assignments.

Our philosophy has always been, treat other people as you wish to be treated, be respectful and honest and understand that although money is essential, it should not be your prime objective when choosing a career.

Both our daughters did voluntary work from a young age - helping out at a club for both disabled and abled bodied youngsters, local community events, environmental work (path building in Sydenham Woods).

messageRe: guarding against future dependency in our kids
Posted by Monkey March 07, 09:42PM

Let them solve problems on their own from a young age.

messageRe: guarding against future dependency in our kids
Posted by Zacdrumbaker March 08, 01:29PM

Very interesting and helpful ideas, thank you!

What about phone/screen dependence and snack/sugar dependence?

Also, the elephant in the room; what can we do as parents to guard against the need for public social approval that social media engenders in so many people? My kids are still pre social media age but I am aware that by continuing to not allow them any experience of social media i may be setting them up for a time when they dive into it, (bored of being excluded from the majority culture) without having developed any street smarts to prevent them from suffering the worst kind of interactions on facebook, snapchat etc.

messageRe: guarding against future dependency in our kids
Posted by Monkey March 09, 08:22AM

I don’t think there’s the perfect solution to the social media problem. It’s worrying me.

- We’re waiting until our daughter (9) is old enough and mature enough to understand that there are intelligent people and nasty idiots and that you only care about the first lot.
- Also trying to get her into a lot of sports so she has activities she likes to build self-esteem and doesn’t spend all her time on her phone when she has one.
- Encouraging a love of the outdoor (camping, Guides...) for the same reasons.
- Encouraging friendships in various places and not just school

Fully aware that this all might come crashing down when she hits the teenage years.😉

When it comes to actual social media use, I think we’ll go on a course or something. I saw headlines saying that Meghan Markle talked about not looking at Twitter. I might watch her speech and show it to DD.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was march 09, 08:25am by Monkey.

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