The One Phrase I'm Changing To Raise An Independent Child

89b2a75cc6ff0b88935dfdbf30eeff49.jpg

I was watching Bodie pull desperately at a toy to dislodge it from a bin of other things.  It felt like ten minutes instead of seconds when I caught myself asking if I could help him.

But this time he didn't default turn to me.  He knew before I did that he could solve the little puzzle of wood piles.  He struggled maybe two real minutes more before recognizing the key was moving a large block wedged above what he wanted.  

Two things happened.  I got to sit and watch his little brain at work which felt like a little relaxed luxury.  And next, I witnessed self-confidence in the making.  Bodie had this sweet proud smile while jumping with literal joy which outlasted the toy that came unstuck.

Over the course of the morning, I stopped myself from offering help twice more.  Once, when frustration was mounting, I instead gave him a little pointer in the right direction. 

As parents to little people that not so long ago were vulnerable, immobile babies, it's a transition to not fix.  But frustration isn't hunger or a messy diaper.  It's an emotion that while I've been trying to solve for, actually can quickly turn into something powerful.  

What little changes have you been making in your parenting style off late?  I'd love to hear. xo

Featured Image via Kristina Mae Ettlin on Instagram