Raising an Independent Daughter

I'm not going to tell you it's easy. At least it isn't for me. I have such high expectations for Lucille -- and want her to be friendly, outgoing, and pleasant while also being tough, secure in her self, and an individual.


I'm not saying that these things are at odds - but sometimes I don't know which lesson I'm trying to teach. Or if I'm trying to teach her or me.

One thing I've been working on lately is problem-solving. Maybe it's because all of a sudden the kids are home during the week (at least for part of the days) and I'm still trying to get my work done - but I've realized that she depends a lot on grown-ups to solve her problems.

I'm not talking major, life-changing problems. I'm talking about the "I'm thirsty." I'm hungry." "I need a wet paper towel to clean something." "I don't know where my shoes are." type of problems. These requests are often accompanied with whine. And I'm not talking chardonnay.

I think I have a tendency to just get up and get her what she needs. But when I'm trying to get an email or blog post typed up and I'm just getting in my writing groove --- those interruptions can blow my concentration. And I can get frustrated with her.

So my latest phrase with Lucille is "I need you to try and solve that problem on your own before you ask me to help you." She actually ends up often asking me "So, I can get this towel wet by myself?" As if she didn't think this was something she was allowed to do. So it's not that she can't solve the problem - she just isn't sure what her boundaries are as she has gotten older.

Want more advice for raising strong girls? Check out these 5 tips.

Ellen Martin

I'm a west-coast mama of two little ones, 15 months apart. This is our family story with reviews and recommendations along the way. Thanks for joining our journey.

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