Why I Don’t Want My Daughter to Be Independent

Why I Don't Want My Daughter to be Independent

 

I have noticed a trend in the last ten years when it comes to female protagonists in books, movies, and TV shows. These women (and girls) are portrayed as strong, outspoken, and fiercely independent. Depending on others is portrayed as weakness.

 

Much of the push of strong, independent women is due to the groundwork laid by generations past:  the courageous women (and men) in the suffrage movement that fought for a woman’s right to vote and those that have demanded legislation for women to be treated as equals when it comes to compensation and benefits from employers.

 

I am so very thankful to these brave individuals who have enabled women around the world to have a voice. We, as women, are forever indebted to their efforts.

 

But I fear that we are taking it a bit too far. In fact, I fear that we are encouraging young women to be someone who will forever be hindered because of the notion that she is weak if she can’t do something on her own.

 

As a mom to a nearly 2-year old daughter, I don’t want my daughter to be independent.

 

Just to be clear, toddlerhood warrants that we are currently all about independence in our house. “No, I Do it,” is a phrase common in our house these days. This is natural and this is good. But as she grows older, I don’t want her to grow up thinking that she can (and should) do everything on our own. Yes, I want her to be strong and be able to think for herself. I want her to form her own conclusions and have the strength to stand up for what is right.

 

But I also want her to learn the art of depending on other people.

 

I believe that God created us to need community. He wants us to depend on each other. He wants us to share in life together. He never intended us to walk through this life alone.

 

“Two are better than one… If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” -Ecclesiastes 4:9a-10

 

There are many times in my life where I have needed other people to surround me. Times when I might not have made it through in one piece without a community of people who love me. When I was on bed rest when pregnant with my daughter, neither my baby nor I could physically survive without depending on other people.

 

It is so hard to be dependent on others, but it is a humbling place where God allows us to witness His ability to use others to meet our needs. And if we surround ourselves with a group of people who share a common goal, most of the time we won’t even need to ask for help because they will anticipate our needs and go above and beyond to meet them (as we should in turn do for them).

 

After all, I think this is the very reason God created family and, ultimately, the church. We need each other to encourage and uplift us to attain our God-given purposes.

 

I also believe that God made men and women differently. By denying the inborn characteristics that we are born with as women to fit the mold of what society is telling us we should be is not right, in my opinion.

 

I want my daughter to be strong and capable…but I also want her to see beauty in her frailties and weaknesses.

 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” -2 Corinthians 2:9 

 

I want my daughter to think for herself…but I want her to think of others above herself (admittedly, something I myself am still working on).

 

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” -Phillipians 2:3

 

I want my daughter to be bold about standing up for what is right and good…but I want her to treat others with kindness, gentleness, and love.

 

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” -1 Corinthians 16:13-14

 

don’t want my daughter to be independent. I want her to be entirely dependent on God to fulfill her needs and I want her to find beauty in the community around her.

 

 

12 Comments

  1. What a beautiful post. I have to admit that I am one of those parents that want my daughter to grow up to become a strong and independent woman. This is nice reminder that we also need to make sure we teach them the importance of community and that it’s not “weak” to rely on someone else. It actually takes a tremendous amount of strength to ask someone for help. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. It is so true, I believe that we need to depend and obey God’s word and he will lead the way.

  3. Thank you for posting this! My own little girl is just shy of 4 months, and this is what I wish for her. My husband and I had a conversation about dependence and independence, I think before I was even pregnant. We don’t understand society’s push for complete independence,particularly in spousal relationships. We both have the skills we feel are important to living independently, but we depend on one another. We are partners in life, and I don’t think that makes us weak, it makes us strong.

  4. I love your post and I do think it is a wonderful thing to do for your child.
    I am one of those people that were always alone and learnt that HAD to do everything on their own. It took me a very long time to accept people’s help as I grew up and not see it as a charity. You are right it takes more strength to be humble and accept help than to actually give help to someone else. I will try to teach that to my kids one day when i have them. Thank you.

  5. You have no idea how refreshing it is to hear your words. I am an atheist mom and totally agree with you. This atheist idea that refuses to see that men and women have differences and these differences make us better. When we work together, united in our strengths and in our differences, we complement each other and we are able to raise our children the way they deserve to be. I can see it in the atheist/socialist community, women are promoted whereas men are constantly belittled, treated as wrong and not human since childhood. They’re putting men against women and breaking our society. Manhood is not inherently wrong, honorable men have always protected us and built everything we have today, they taught us honor, bravery and strength, kindness and compassion, they’ve been supportive husbands who adore their wives and great fathers and leaders. Women are physically weaker than men and love children and children can only be raised properly and successfully in a family of 2 parents. That’s my opinion and I agree with everything you said. Please help me spread awareness, talk to your friends about this, let’s set the example, let’s stand up for both men and women before it’s too late. We love our honorable men, manhood and femininity are not wrong, they’re two sides of the same coin and both necessary to create a healthy, interesting and valuable community. And let’s stand up for our men, husbands, fathers and sons, it’s our turn to show the world how much we love and appreciate them!!

  6. Amen. Thank you for saying this. I do agree. We as women need to reach out and help each other and marriage is ordained of God. And if I can teach my girls to be dependent on God than I’ve taught them the most important thing.

  7. I agree with you, jenae. teaching our daughters’ to be independent, strong and asking others for help is not a bad thing everybody need someone to help them.

  8. Thank you for this post. You’re summing up a lot of what’s been on my mind lately. I have two girls and they are wonderfully independent and wonderfully dependent. 3 year & a 1.5 year old. I love the verses and the connections. More children need to hear this and even more parents need to know this. Thank you again

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