i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t…do you know what that means?

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Irony can be such a fickle beast, or your eccentric best friend.  I was talking to my daughter and her bff last night about being an independent woman, and having no shame in that.  About never putting yourself in a position to have to ask a man for anything.

Then today, I find this awesome blog called The Fickle Heartbeat, http://wp.me/p4sXoP-65, and this post http://suitsandglutes.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/miss-independent/.  The first quote of the article almost slapped me in my face with my grandmother’s spirit.  If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought my grandmother was ghostwriting that post!

Independence is truly the most profound lesson that my grandmother taught me.  I remember when I turned 16, she shared some candid stories and advice about protecting myself and falling in love.  It was pressing on my heart to share these stories with my daughter and her friends, who affectionately call me Mom too.

I plan on writing a ‘listicle’ for The Fickle Heartbeat about lessons to impart to our daughters.  But I want to address a different vein of the same arm here.  And maybe this vein will generate another opportunity for a ‘listicle’.  My biggest concern is that all this talk is for naught, if your daughter does not truly understand what it means to be an independent person. 

I was honestly annoyed at my own daughter in speaking to her and her friend last night.  It wasn’t so much that she did anything disrespectful, just typical teen behavior, like, here goes my mom…again.  I could see I had her attention for the first few minutes but she soon became distracted and the intensity of the conversation totally took a turn.  Despite that fact that her best friend was listening intently, I was completely distracted by my own daughter’s lack of interest, and I could see it was eeking over into her friend’s ability to focus.

She’s probably heard these conversations a thousand times, so I can borderline understand her lack of interest, but still.  It came to me in reading the post I referenced, that maybe the issue isn’t the topic, but her lack of understanding of the topic. 

We can wonk at our kids all day like the teacher from Charlie Brown, but do they really hear us?  I can teach her all about being an independent young lady and making progress for herself, on her own.  But will any of those seeds take root if the foundation is not strong enough to feed the seed?  Foundation being an understanding of what independence truly is and why its so important…not just teaching about how to be independent. 

As much as I sometimes tire of hearing myself speak, lol, I think another conversation is due.  Success, in my opinion, is truly rooted in a person’s ability to take on a task and master it for themselves.  ‘Each one teach one’ is difficult if you don’t pay attention to the initial lesson yourself.  You’ll mess around and teach the wrong things…and you are accountable for everything, I mean everything, that you teach or pass on to others.  Set an appropriate foundation and watch the fruit blossom.

~ Proverbs 28:10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.

Your turn ~ What advice would you give about teaching the meaning of independence?  Or, what have you been taught about independence that you found invaluable? 

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2 thoughts on “i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t…do you know what that means?”

  1. In my mind, being independent means being strong enough (in your own self) not to: make snap decisions affecting long time goals, change a well thought out opinion based or facts or beliefs… or to simply accept what someone else says before being willing to check out what they’ve said against what they’ve done. It means to be strong of mind… and heart… and spirit, and they must all function in unison to benefit ourselves and others.

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