amber rahim

Chronic illness: the parts we don't talk about

The upside of bringing up independent kids


In March I wrote a post about the downside of bringing up independent kids and it was prompted by the fear of letting go and what ifs.

Last week’s post was about my “little leader of her own life”, F, who took charge and went off on a school trip for 2 nights. She’s 6 and a half and she packed her own bags and off she went to Elsloo. There wasn’t any of the faffing about that I sometimes do when I am nervous (do I have everything? what else should I take just in case…?) just methodical and fast.

So this is why independence is so important:

Hard truth: we will not always be there for them so they will have to get on with it at some point in their lives. Surely it is better to prepare them, bit by bit, rather than throw them in at the deep end when they are 18?

More positively: she had an amazing time! She loved it, was happy and felt confident. This is what I want for all my children.

In my work as a coach I see people who are courageously stepping up to live their lives they way they want to.  In this journey, a metaphor I hold in my mind is that in these moments of choice, we are standing on a cliff edge, looking out to where we want to be on the other side of the canyon.  It’s risky, stepping off that cliff and a great quote I heard once is this:

You can't cross a canyon in two leaps

(Photo from

Little F was resolute, calm and practical. She prepared and leapt, without hesitation, knowing that she was going to get to the other side. She now wants to move the Elsloo.


Update on last week:

We received this card from F last Thursday and I love it because it is full of her character:

F card from Elsloo 1

  • Fairness – everyone is included and named on the card
  • Love of patterns and order – alternating the colours of the letters
  • Love of variety – not all names follow the same pattern
  • Use what you have (my favourite) – the foam letters for her name: they didn’t have all the letters she needed so she made them herself using whatever foam letters were available
  • Accuracy!: below you can see she corrected the card when she got home:


She didn’t miss us so with an exclamation “Oh no, that’s not right!” she crossed out the words “Ik mis je” (I miss you). I burst out laughing.  Sometimes this need for such precision drives me nuts but this time, it was wonderful.

She had a fantastic time and that makes me incredibly happy. She will be ok.

5 thoughts on “The upside of bringing up independent kids

  1. I’m so glad she had a great time and you both survived. I love the card.:) Have a great day.

    • I love the card too so I just had to share it. Hope you are having a good day

      • I wish I could say I’m having a good day, but it’s now 4:35 a.m. and I’m still wide awake. This Prednisone doesn’t help when it comes to sleeping, but hopefully this time it will work. This is my fourth round of some form of steroids and I’m on round three of antibiotics. Somethings got to give. I’ve been sick with this bronchitis that causes my asthma to go into a major flare since Jan. 6th. That’s a long time and then there’s all my other crap that never leaves me alone. So, on that note, I hope you are having a good day.:)

  2. Amber. Again brillant!!! Thank you for following up from last week. She did incredible and is awesome. And you Too !! I just think back years and am so very very GRATEFUL!!!!

    • I have never let myself think too much about the future, so many scary possibilities. I was worried that she would remain very cautious and miss out on things but she is grabbing life by the horns and I too am grateful.

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