5. Take your children with you in the world.
When my own daughter was born, none of our good friends had babies yet, so we ended up carting our newborn all over the place with us — on camping trips, out to dinner in the city, to rooftop parties and travels via plane and car. At the time, it wasn’t a parenting “choice” — it was a survival tactic! — but as a result Isabella, now 10, is totally comfortable talking to adults, loves to travel, and is usually very well-behaved in any restaurant.
My friend Courtney Cachet, a designer, TV personality, BettyConfidential contributor and mom of two (phew!), is one of the most motivated self-starters I have EVER met. She also believes in the importance of a worldly education. “Being self-sufficient is the greatest sense of freedom and independence; it’s not just about money,” she says. “Speaking other languages, being well educated and cultured are equally important components of self sufficiency. I’ve always been like that and it makes you fearless, to a certain degree. I believe all of that leads to a much greater chance of success — both personally and professionally in life.”
6. Let them make decisions.
“My parents allowed us to make many of our own decisions about friendships and life choices and never micro managed our homework,” shares my childhood friend Sara, who has one stepchild and one baby on the way. “At times I found this so aggravating, especially when I wanted the advice and to just have someone else make the decision for me, but looking back I am very grateful for it. It also kept me out of a lot of trouble because I knew whatever decision I was making was my own and was something I would have to live with, and it made me terrified of disappointing them and losing their respect!”
What do you think is most important when it comes to kids and independence?