5 Ways to Raise an Independent Child

By Richard Rende, PhD  @richardrendephd
April 03, 2017

Kids need to be industrious

How many times have you heard that youth today are “entitled”? I hear that a lot, but I think it’s more nuanced than that. Kids work very hard today at a lot of things – in fact, college freshmen are more stressed out than ever. But what they don’t work hard at are the dirty jobs of life. They don’t do chores regularly. They don’t know what it’s like to work without getting a gold star and heaps of praise. They don’t know that they will need to do lots of grunt work to climb the ladder, rather than having the ladder being brought to them with an invitation to go straight to the top. It’s not their fault, and parents can inoculate their kids by instilling a sense of industriousness in them. Teach them to be part of the family team and pitch in to work with you to take on household responsibilities. Help them understand that they should look for ways to help out without being told to do so and without expecting a reward. I’ve heard from many who hire and supervise young workers, and there is consensus that they will work hard at the things that they are told to do and the things they think will make them stars – but they look for constant praise and reward and don’t have the initiative to find out how they can uniquely contribute to make things better. Want your kid to be independent? Give them the platform to know how to do that.

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April 07, 2020