Making a Pie — a Story of Independence

My fourth grader came home from school with a special book from the library. It was a cookbook full of recipes for kids to do. She was so excited. She’d planned all day during her free reading time which recipe she’d do. And she wanted my help making a pie.

Making Pies - a story of independence  |

Well, actually, she wanted me to stand there and supervise her, while she made the apple pie. It was a new thing for me to experience. Standing on the sideline, watching her do something as adult as making pie, by herself. She followed the recipe; she mixed the ingredients. I peeled and cored the apples, but she cut them into slices. She placed them in the pie shell. She did ask me to help with crimping the edges, but then she placed the pie into the oven, which she had turned on already.

cutting the apples |
Cutting the apple slices and finishing the pie all be herself.

As I was working alongside her, I struck by how much she’d grown up recently. I have spent most of the last nine years feeding, clothing, and physically cleaning this child, and it was quite surprising to have her want something different from me. She has mastered taking care of her physical needs –bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene. Now I don’t need to do those things – but I still need to check to make sure they get done.  I also need to focus my attention on helping her develop other necessary skills, the next level of life skills – so to speak.

My daughter has graduated from basic life skills instruction, to personality skills instruction. My focus now needs to shift toward these more advanced lessons. I need to help her develop a strong work ethic. I need to teach her to want to do a good job on something – even if no one will be grading it or checking it. I need to teach her how to think of others more than her. And many other skills that will help her become a happy, productive adult.

And I need to find a balance between the independence she is starting to desire, and the amount of parental instruction she still needs. I don’t want her to grow up yet. I want her to stay a young girl for a few more years. While it is good for her to have more responsibilities, opportunities, and independence, she still needs me to be her mother. She is only nine, after all.

These are new waters for me. I feel like a first time Mom all over again. My head is full of, what are most likely, naïve thoughts about what will be best to do and how to do it. My end goal is still the same – allow my daughter to grow and mature into a capable, productive adult. I just pray to be able help her when needed, to let her do it herself when needed, and for the wisdom to know the difference.

How about you? Have you faced this transition with your own children? How did you manage it? What did you do? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.


  1. I’m not ready for it! My oldest is six and he still needs me for almost everything. And even though that makes me crazy, I think I like it that way. I just can’t even think about him getting too big to not want to cuddle up next to me on the couch.


    1. Enjoy him while he’s cuddly. And honestly, even when he’s older he’ll still want to cuddle, I’m sure. Thanks for sharing and coming by. :)


  2. I think it’s great when the kids grow up and learn things because of how we’ve taught them. This is a great post. I love that you included your daughter in it. My oldest is also six and I love seeing the milestones of independence.


    1. It’s fun, exciting, and scary all wrapped up into one amazingly mind blowing moment. Thanks for coming by and commenting. Have fun with your little guy!

  3. Sonya K

    My kids are two and six, but it feels like they are already getting more independent. My two year old likes to read to herself even though she can’t read. My six year old who is homeschooled starts working on his lessons almost every day without me even having to ask him to do so. I know these are really small things but it lets me see how they are growing up. It’s great that your daughter is beginning to cook on her own.

    Stopping by from the Turn it Up Tuesday link-up :)


    1. It sounds like you have two amazing and wonderful children. Thanks for the supporting comments, and for coming by.


  4. This post fits my situation…my son is 10 and I’m trying to figure out if he is up to speed on basic skills for his age. I mean, he’s very smart and intelligent, but I feel he lacks a bit in some areas-social, boredom, responsibility…but then I wonder if it’s just because he’s still only 10 years old. You know?
    Visiting from Turn It Up Tuesday!


    1. For me, this transition is so difficult. Knowing what to be expected, and what’s too much — it’s a hard balancing act, that’s for sure. Good luck with your son and your own transition. Thanks for coming by and commenting. :)


    1. Thank you for the linky party. I enjoy the posts you collect! Thanks for coming by and commenting. :) See you next Tuesday. ;)


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