Being an individual that loves things to be a certain way initially made it difficult for me to encourage Independence with my children. Once they reached the stages in development focused on autonomy and the realization that they are their own separate person, individuality begins to flourish. I initially had a tough time with this. With my first child I experienced this with clothing selection and him never wanting mommy to help, with my second child I experienced this with her hair and color of clothing. with my last child I experienced this with him wanting to do everything himself. Now for some people these things may not be a big deal but clothing selection was huge to me because I used to love buying my children matching clothing or color scheme and shoes to match. Well my oldest had a phase that he was like a little cowboy. Now this was cute but I wanted him to wear matching clothes that I bought when we went out. So I continued to put him in the clothes I picked but I began to notice his mood changing. I tried to figure out why this was occurring. Which at the time was hard due to my son’s difficulty communicating at the time. Then one day he started pointing at his tie and cowboy boots. That day I let him pick out his clothing and his mood instantly changed. This was the day I put aside my extreme need to be in control and make everything as close to perfect as possible and realized that the imperfections, the differences, the individuality, makes us special and unique and what I deemed as perfect for me may not be for bothers, including my children. I no longer sought to make my children in my image but to instead help to encourage and mold them into their own special unique little selves.