The Highest Level of Self Reliance

Teaching character and life skills to students

We have spoken this month about how proud we are of our efforts and accomplishment when we do something on our own for the first time.  Whether we are a child or an adult, when we have made the time and put in the effort to learn a new skill, and then show we can do it on our own, it is reason for celebration.

But the next level of self reliance is even more important.  The highest level of self reliance is practicing our new skill or doing what we have learned, without someone having to tell us to do so.  In the case of children, we see them work very hard to learn to make their bed or brush their teeth, but after some time of doing this skill they may slack off when the praise and novelty wears off.  Now they have to be told, Make your bed, brush your teeth, pick up your toys, get dressed for school, etc…

The ultimate level of self reliance is not just being able to perform an act, but to practice it on your own without having to be reminded, asked, or begged to do what you already know how to do.  This is not just a child’s quality that needs to be developed.  When preparing this month for this word, I thought about how many things that I put off, do not practice or ask others to do – that I know perfectly well how to do and should be doing.  This month I have been working at developing my own self reliance and trying to make it at the higher level – not waiting for someone to ask me,but rather just doing it.  Talk to your children and yourself about this higher level of self reliance.  It is a good reminder for us and them, and will be pleasing to our spouses and work partners.

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