Begin With the End in Mind - Kimberly Thompson

From the time we give birth to our beloved children, we are preparing them to live as independent adults. First comes merely breathing on their own … but within a year or so that totally dependent newborn has turned into a toddler. The years speed by in a blur.

We don’t have long to teach them the things they need to know, the skills they need to survive. So, let’s not dawdle too long over the part where we try to protect them from everything.  Let’s begin with the end in mind.

The tricky thing about parenting is striking the appropriate balance between protection and preparation according to your child’s age and developmental stage. How do you figure it out? Here are some things to think about:

Chores. Even toddlers can learn to put toys away. If you will gradually give them more responsibility as the years roll by, they will go away to college able to cook a decent meal and do their own laundry.

Academics. You may have a college-bound kid on your hands, but then again, you might not. All kids can learn to work hard though, and to be responsible with their assignments. If you suspect that you are working harder than (or even as hard as) your child at school assignments, you need to back off. A top-tier college acceptance letter is meaningless if your child didn’t really earn it himself.

People. Teachers, coaches, and peers are all VIPs to children. When it comes to handling other people, guidance and support are the most important gifts you can give. Most kids won’t want you to intervene in minor problems with other people, and it’s usually wise to respect that.

I’ll be going into more depth in each of these areas in future posts.


     I am Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. I work with mothers and their children to help them heal, grow, and live their most vibrant lives. My particular expertise is pregnant and postpartum women, and moms of “littles.” My book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed, is available on Amazon and from Praeclarus Press. If you live within driving distance of Lubbock, you can work with me face-to-face; if you live anywhere else in the state of Texas, you can work with me via online therapy. Send me a message if you need more information, or call my office at (806) 224-0200 if you’re ready to book an appointment.