Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dependence, independence, interdependence

As a parent of an energetic, social and delightful one year old, I have only slightly more than zero experience to offer on the parenting front (this didn't stop me attempting a series of theological reflections on children before she was born, of course!). Nonetheless, I'll risk a brief recommendation. I found this short piece on parenting a toddler very helpful and commend it to others in a similar situation.
H/T Jessica.

The key idea is that neither dependence ("You do it for me") nor independence ("I do it myself") are the goal of parenting, but rather a healthy interdependence ("We do it"). Independence is overrated, both in parenting and in life more generally. I don't want to stand on my own two feet, since such a task is both impossible and undesirable.


Unknown said...

Appreciate the reflection on Dependence, Independence and Interdependence. These conflicted terms shape how we think about accidents, health setbacks, disabilities and aging. They are also at the heart of the tension in a life of faith. Perhaps the latter is an inversion--learning to be dependent on grace rather than independent and self-sufficient as our cultural prescription might suggest. Interdependence then is an interesting life-cycle and spiritual middle ground.