Don Hudson Bulahdelah Central School Principal talks about kids Bulahdelah, Wootton, Nerong FEATURED by NOTA - October 23, 2014 Michal Grose recently wrote about the secret to raising happy, confident kids and from a school perspective a significant part of children’s positive mental health comes from having happy and confident students. In the article Michael writes about the necessity to developing your child’s independence. We, as educators know that independence contributes to the development of a young person’s self-esteem, identity and wellbeing. When a child does something for themselves it produces a powerful sense of achievement and success. When children have opportunities to make choices, to attempt tasks, and to take on increasing responsibilities, their view of themselves as competent young people grows and has many lasting positive benefits. Michael contends that independence leads to the 4Cs, confidence, competence, creativity and character. He suggests that ‘when independence becomes your priority …it will reveal a pathway to the development of other positive qualities and traits in your children.’ Confidence comes from facing your fears and doing things for yourself. Competence comes from the opportunity to develop self-mastery that independence offers. Creativity is developed when kids solve problems themselves as opposed to someone solving them on their behalf. Or worse, sheltering them from any risk of harm. Character, which is essential for success, is forged under hardship and is needed if kids are to live a sturdy life. One of the most important goals as a parent is to raise children who become independent and self-reliant adults. As your children grow, they become more independent but still depend on you for love, protection, guidance, and support. The job as a parent hasn’t changed greatly over the decades but as Michael suggests you need to ‘work like mad to develop (your child’s) real independence so they become capable of handling what life will throw their way’.