Thursday, April 15, 2010

Raising Self-Reliant Kids

This evening, I read a great article about teaching our kids how to be more self-reliant. It has inspired me to share more about how I have trained the children in my own home to be more independent, and hopefully help them to be more self-reliant adults. We're not perfect, by any means, but maybe some of the ideas I'll share will spark new efforts in your home.

So, from now on, every THURSDAY I will share some of the ways I have taught my children to work.

For this first Thursday, I'd like to share the article I mentioned above. Below is an excerpt from it, with the link to the entire article.

Skills Every Self-Reliant Child Needs to Know
By Carolyn Nicolaysen

Several years ago I was teaching a Beehive class in Young Women with a group of promising 12 and 13 year-old girls. I really can't recall the topic of the lesson but I do remember the girls’ reaction so well. At one point one of the girls raised her hand and said "But Sister Nicolaysen we are never going to be good grandmas like our grandmothers. We don't know how to do anything. We don’t know how to sew or bake bread or can vegetables or grow a garden like our grandmothers."

As we continued to talk, it became clear that these girls were genuinely concerned that they might grow up and not know some of the hands-on things their mothers and grandmothers took for granted. They wanted to do things more meaningful than craft projects. So as a result, we had some activities to teach these skills. These girls learned to cook, make jam, sew and knit.

I hope you enjoy reading the article as much as I did! :-)


  1. I can so relate to this post! My mother grew up on a farm in North Carolina. I heard all the stories of farming, canning, sewing, quilting, raising farm animals, etc. I craved to have the same experiences. When I brought it up to my mother she said, "Why would you want to do all that work when we have everything we need at the store?"

    Her upbringing was hard and she wanted the conveniences that life now offered her. She did not see that we might someday NEED to know those skills. She is a good woman and I don't mean to disrespect her in any way. However, there are so many lost arts that I'm now trying to teach myself and my children.

    Thank you for sharing! I look forward to your future posts. I've been working on the same ideas of having self-reliance for myself and my children.

  2. I love the part your shared, hopefully I will get a chance to read the whole thing. I wasn't taught how to cook/clean/garden/sew etc when I was a girl, Ive had to teach myself all of it as an adult. Let me tell you I really think it would have been easier to learn if I had someone teaching me. Eventually I would love to learn to can and do other things like that but I figure a little bit at a time is best.
    I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old (so far) and I look forward to teaching them these things that I have had to teach myself.


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