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(PART 1)

The world’s richest man today, worth around USD 130 Billion, is Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos. Known for making high-velocity decisions and his far-sightedness as a business leader, Bezos attributed part of his success to working with his grandfather on his grandparents’ South Texas ranch at an early age.

Bezos credits him for instilling resourcefulness and self-reliance in him, “He was super important for me,” Bezos says of his grandfather.

“One of the things that are so interesting about that lifestyle and my grandfather is he did everything himself. You know, he didn’t call a vet if one of the animals was sick; he figured out what to do himself.”

The Amazon founder was greatly influenced by his grandfather’s work ethic and self-reliance. During the summer, he helped his grandfather fix windmills, laid water pipelines, built fences and barns, and the two even built a house from scratch one summer. The time spent at the ranch with his grandfather instilled a new sense of entrepreneurship and taking ownership in Bezos. According to Jeff Bezos:

“As an entrepreneur and someone pursuing a passion to ‘move things forward,’ you run into problems, failures and things that don’t work. When that happens, you have to back up and try again. Each one of those times that you have a setback and you back up and try again; you’re using resourcefulness. You’re using self-reliance. You’re trying to invent your way out of a box,” says Bezos.

What can we, as parents, learn from Bezos’ upbringing? As parents, we want nothing but the best for our children. Often, we are so inclined to attend to their needs. It is a way we express our love. However, to allow children to become successful in life, we also have to teach them self-reliance or in other word, independence.

What is independence?

Independence is about learning to do things for oneself, which includes making decisions and taking on responsibility. These are hugely important skills for children to learn to cope with adulthood. When independence grows, a child’s confidence also grows. As they master new skills or take on some responsibility, they begin to see themselves as being capable. Such mastery gives them added confidence and makes them more likely to try out new things.

Are you raising independent or contingent kids?

Independent children are confident and believe that they are capable of taking care of themselves. These children’s parents have guided them when making decisions; they don’t make decisions for them. Independent children are self-motivated because they are allowed to find their reasons to achieve anything they desire. These children have been allowed to consider various options and with the help of their parents, make informed decisions.

On the other hand, contingent children have parents that enjoy doing every little thing for them. They need their parents not only to meet their physical needs but emotional needs as well. Contingent children depend on others for motivation to achieve anything. These children depend on others for their happiness because nothing they have gained has been their own. Untimely rewards are given for these children’s behaviour because they have no limits set. They feel like they make poor decisions because their parents always feel like they know what’s best for the child.

Are your children independent enough? Here are the reasons why children ought to learn independence:

✅ It enables children to gain first-hand knowledge.

✅ It enhances children’s self-esteem.

✅ It prepares children to handle failure and stress.

✅ It allows choosing what will make them happy

Through independence, children got to enhance their skills, learn right and wrong, develop their personality, and take decisions. To determine the ways of life, children need to experience life. This way, they will grow up durable, ready to take on life challenges, emotionally secured, and happy.