Mama OWL Blog: How to raise a 'Successful Human Being'

How to raise a 'Successful Human Being'

Tuesday, 3 February 2015


I had a brief discussion with my mother this morning about how much I am enjoying the children now that they're older & more independent. I like that they are able to do for themselves, to think for themselves, and I love watching them grow & learn and become their own people. I actually realise now that I very much dislike the baby stage - as lovely as they are, personally I think they're quite boring and in all honesty I am finding that parenting children (rather than 'taking care of a baby') is much more rewarding.

I love that we can drop what we're doing and go wherever we like on a whim without having to load up with nappies, bottles, bags, pushchairs and all the endless baby paraphernalia that you need or worry that they might need a feed or a nap, or messing up a routine. They feed themselves (the trick with teenagers is getting them to stop bloody feeding themselves), they dress themselves, they are interactive. My mum likened it to being like a dog with pups, after a certain length of time they expect the puppies to take care of themselves and I thought - well actually, yes, because isn't that the whole point?

Eventually, & as much as I will miss them terribly when they're off on their own, I want them to live full, happy and independent lives. As the quote above states, "It's not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings". If my children, as adults, are expecting me to fund their lifestyle, raise their children, or just generally run around after them an exorbitant amount - then in my opinion, I won't have done my job as their mother.

I'm not talking about favours, or babysitting, or buying the odd gift. I will fully expect my children to learn to take care of themselves, and then their own families, without needing constant input from me. I will teach them to cook, clean, sew, budget, save - whatever I have to do to help them find their way in the world, but I do expect them to do it on their own when they leave home. I'm sure I'll end up with a bag of laundry now & again, and "Mum can I borrow a tenner" and the like, but I will draw the line at parenting an adult. I believe that I would have done them a disservice by doing so.

I'm expecting that L will need a different level of assistance as he grows up, but at the same time I expect that he will lead an independent life and have a family of his own one day, too. It might take a little longer to get him there, but having Autism doesn't mean he can't one day be just as self-sufficient as his siblings.

Their father & I will always be there for all five of them no matter what, whatever they need we will always help them if we can - but the key word is help, there will be no constant hand-holding. It's not that unreasonable to expect them to take care of themselves as adults - is it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

10 comments:

  1. Very well written & I agree with you wholeheartedly! (in particular the baby stage).

    I often think parents who don't help their children learn and grow; continue to hold onto the apron strings, because they are 'needy' types themselves!!

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    1. I completely agree! Often does more harm than good though!

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  2. My son is 12 and very independent an making those moves towards not needing me as much.
    But I tease him because every night he likes me to 'tuck him in'. And we giggle and I say 'will you want me to come to your uni flat and tuck you in there too Dan? Maybe I could offer a service to your mates too . . .'!

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  3. Very well said, although I did love the baby stage and would be more than happy to go through it again. I agree with you on teaching them the important things in order to function as an adult. I guess financial support is a personal one - my parents funded me through Uni and I'd like to do the same for my kiddos whereas the OH was left to fund himself and left with colossal debt. You seem to be doing an ace job with your gorgeous brood x x

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    1. I think when they're still in education etc then that's different in terms of financial support, we will still help to support ours then too (though they will have to manage with grants & a p/t job too, as much as I would love to fund them through it!) but once they are 'grown ups' with their own families, we won't be handing out any cash or paying their way. No buying them cars or paying their bills or any such nonsense! Thank you xx

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  4. I couldn't agree with you more. I see my job as helping them become the adults that they should be - strong, independent and loving towards others. Too many people hand hold their children and whilst it's nice and cosy and makes us feel better, I don't think it will help them long-term. I'm guilty of it on occasion too! Sounds like you're doing an awesome job :) x

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    1. I completely agree, letting them go and make their own way in life is what it's all about - I can't wait to see where their adventures take them. Thank you x

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  5. I couldn't agree more and while I am almost THERE too but not quite we were just talking about this the other day how wonderful it is to not always have to have the stroller and throwing a few wipes and diapers in my handbag instead of carrying the diaper bag is great. Naps are slowing going for us and Buba starts school soon. When MM hits school age it really will be so different and I think easier. lol Lovely post. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. It's all new territory but that's what I love about parenting, there is always a new challenge. One day that challenge will be letting go and saying goodbye as they make their own way in the world, but getting them there and knowing that I have raised them to be good, independent and responsible adults will be a wonderful reward for all of my hard work :) x

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