RTD: Building Independent Kids

The thought processes of children is flawed.  Their logic is incomplete.  So how do we help them grow to become functioning independent members of society?  When and how do we phase out the “Do what you’re told” days and develop their critical thinking?  How do we make sure our children don’t fall prey to advertisers or peer pressure?

My kids have grown up in a house with little to no commercials. We have not had cable TV and Netflix doesn’t have any. The only place they see commercials is when watching something on Hulu,  or at their grandparents’ house.  When this happens they usually start screaming for me or my wife to come see the new amazing thing they want.  Does this mean that a lack of commercials help kids grow more independent?  I don’t know; Maybe?

Something to consider is that it may be beneficial to our kids to monitor the number of voices putting ideas into their heads.  When there are 15 commercials per half-hour show, that is a LOT of different voices saying that you “need” to get something, be something, or do something in order to be cool.

Just how impressionable are our young kids?  I took my son to our favorite coffee spot and got him a big cookie while I enjoyed the best latte in town.  He ate the cookie so fast that when he was done I said, “Wow [D], you killed that cookie.” about 40 minutes later (meaning it’s in his long-term memory), My son said the same thing about his juice during lunch.  To my wife’s surprise he yelled, “I just killed this!”  She asked where he got that from, and I almost forgot that it was from me.

That was just one thing that I said once.  Imagine what all they internalize during an hour of TV.  I am not saying that TV is good or bad; I am saying that we need to be conscious of the voices that give input to our kids.  Those same commercials can be great learning opportunities for building critical thinking skills.

I know this is titled about building independence and I went on a tangent about TV, but the point is this: Independence is learned; who will your kids learn it from?

This Wednesday Night we will be talking about giving our kids a chance to be independent, and to how to continue to develop it.  Join us on Twitter at 6PST/9EST. 



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About ManvDadhood

I am a man, and by my wife’s standards that makes me flawed. My challenge to parents, and to myself, is not to teach my kids about the kind of person I hope them to become one day, but to become that person today.

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  1. There is a fine line that parents dance on with every child. You try and teach them independence but you do not want your child to feel like they are alone. We are dancing on that line right now and we want the Kid to develop the independence that we as parents desperately want him to have but at the same time we want him to know that anytime he asks us to help him with something we will be there.

This is what I think...