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  1. #11


    If you don't need her to be independent then I think the gradual approach suggested by others sounds like a good idea.

    If you think she struggles with being a perfectionist, then it sounds like a great idea to start working on tools for her to overcome that. I suffer from extreme perfectionism and imposter syndrome and have found it very limiting and it has greatly affected my life/work/research (did a PhD = huge struggle; open-ended completely self-directed deadlines and goals were difficult for me). I am have only started working on tools to cope with it in recent years. So, if she has a helpful parent to recognize that and work on tools now, she is very lucky!

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  3. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by MNDad View Post
    I think much of her inability to get things done independently relates to her strong perfectionist tendencies. Doing independent work exposes her to the risk that it will be found imperfect.
    I think it depends upon the child. I have twins, age 13, and I see this in my son who is a perfectionist. He also lacks confidence. He still wants me to sit next to him and help him through things when he is unsure or has no confidence in his ability.

    My daughter, OTOH, is also considered a perfectionist but she is much more resilient and able to deal with mistakes. When she makes a mistake, she is motivated to improve where my son tends to give up or get upset when he makes a mistake.
    finished 8th grade (our fifth year homeschooling)
    Dumplett (girl - age 14) and Wombat (boy - age 14)

  4. #13


    My DD was the same way at that age, even though I had always fostered independent skills (I teach them to cut their own meat when they are 3 or 4). It was just her personality and age/stage. She was 9 years old and really unwilling to even go to the supermarket bathroom on her own... I had to really push for her to do that, and she felt uncomfortable the whole time. I couldn't believe it, and cursed myself for allowing her to reach that age without more experience at going and doing without me. At 9, I was biking to the Piggly Wiggly and stopping for a snow-cone at the kiosk on the way, and relished the freedom.

    But the good news is, by 11 or so, she was perfectly fine with cracking open a textbook and doing her work without me sitting there, without my doing anything to cause this change, and this year at 12/13, she's fiercely independent...sometimes too big for her britches, and I have to remind her that whether she's in school or not, I am still her mother and still ultimately responsible to oversee her education.

    My son was straining at the leash by 8, and I kept both our sanity by having him go to the corner store to buy me a newspaper, or any other errand I could contrive for him. By 9, he was roaming freely in a 2-mile radius all over downtown and the library, and was well-known to librarians and shopkeepers alike. He did fall in with the wrong crowd and I had to pull him back in for a while, but we both learned valuable things from that, so I'm not sorry.

    Kids differ in their independence and the age at which they really start needing a wider playing field and more autonomy, but even the shy girl shrinking into my armpit who so resisted even going to the bathroom in a store while I was elsewhere in the store, transformed less than 3 years later into a marvelously self-possessed young lady who occasionally forgets that she's not yet a 20-something "woman of the world" whose business is exclusively her own. It's a fun new stage with its own frustrations...all that fierce independence, but spills sugar and instant coffee all over the counter in the morning, and still can't find her martial arts pants because they were buried in the Cretaceous Layer of her room.
    Middle-aged mom of 4 kids spanning a 10-year age range, homeschooling since 2009, and a public school mom also, since 2017.

  5. #14


    Hearing, everyones experiences, I think it is just all really personal and dependent on your how your child is. I am a perfectionist but love to work independently. Then no one gets to see my mistakes! However, my mistakes don't motivate me to try harder, they put me off and make me procrastinate, but I do it all happily independently. For my daughter, independence in school work and life are very separate. She is very independent with her school work and happily so, she often says she would rather work on her own even if I have time to offer to sit with her. She does struggle with challenge and frustration with mistakes but we seem to have a good set of tools working at the moment for her to overcome that. However, she is not independent in life at all out of the house. She tends to cling to me and try get me to do everything for her and speak for her.

  6. #15


    For a couple of my son's English language books, I have him write paragraphs on a dry erase board and he will want me to look as he is writing to i can suggest corrections as he goes. He does this so he will not have to make the revisions all at once at the end, which is what I want him to do.

    So, sometimes I will close my eyes and tell him I want to be surprised. It does not always work, but the silly approach is at least not strongly resisted and it works more often than it doesn't.

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