Fostering Independence: Balancing Protectiveness with Faith

Going It Alone 

Gail’s thoughts on Michele Howe’s chapter from Going It Alone. 

Questions to consider when addressing “fostering independence” in your children as a single mom. 

  1. How much is too much?
  2. How old or young to start?
  3. What’s the point?

Do you recall one of your first experiences of independence? 

If so, how did it make you feel? 

1. How much is too much? Keep the child safe. Consider the maturity of the child. Then push a little. Never place in danger. Never cause harm. Always consider the possibilities and then encourage him to be bold.

2. How old to start? When a child learns to walk you are developing independence. You encourage the babe to let go. That is the beginning of independence.

3. Finally – What’s the point?

My point is as a mother it is your job to raise a child to be an adult and live in this world as a responsible person. This means creating circumstances that will teach independence. 

What  four words come to mind when you think of independence? 

What four words come to mind when you think of  maturity? 

How do these words correlate with each other? My guess is they are very similar. What are you teaching your child that will prepare him/her for adulthood? for maturity? 

How do good manners/etiquette assist your child towards independence? 

How does praying with your child help to develop independence? Can you give a personal example? 

We love our little babies and well we should. We must, however, accept that they will, the Lord willing, live much longer as an adult than as a child. Always treat your children gently and keep then safe while remembering there comes a time when each one must take steps towards independence. 


  1. Is this a bible study? where are the answers? to the questions asked here? I have an 18 year old getting ready to graduate . She is a good kid 4.0. her motivation and confidence has been dimishing a bit and I want to be able to push without adding to her fear of adulthood .

    1. It appears that you have a bright daughter and she must’ve been raised by a smart mom. Maybe her motivation and confidence are a little hesitant about the future. I taught in a high school for several years and most students about to graduate, no matter how successful a student they were, have some concern about the future. Give her encouragement, not so much a ‘push’ as a hand to hold along the path she will be traveling.

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