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Q1: Should parents teach kids to be independent at an early age?

TOEFL Speaking Question 1:
Do you agree or disagree that parents should teach their kids to be independent at an early age?

When approaching a personal choice question, I would first use the fifteen seconds I have to quickly jot down the following:

  1. Main point - I agree with the statement here.
  2. Reason 1 - Children learn faster when they get to do things on their own.
  3. Reason 2 - When children accomplish things independently, they build a sense of self-esteem.
  4. Reason 3 - Children learn to make decisions early in life. This prepares them for adulthood, when decision-making is a very useful trait to have.

Here's what my actual answer would be:

Independence is a trait that parents should encourage in their children at an early age. Here's why I think so. First, when children do things on their own, they proceed through trial and error. This is a very effective way to learn. Further, when children accomplish things independently, they build a healthy sense of self-esteem. In addition, an independent child learns to make decisions. This prepares him or her for adulthood, when decision-making is a valuable trait to have.

I've observed this very closely in real life. A cousin of mine was sent to boarding school when she was just eight years old. She's 20 years old now, just like me. She goes on solo backpacking trips around the world. At such a young age, she heads a startup that makes sustainable skincare products. Nobody else in our family has attempted anything like that at such a young age. In my opinion, her independence in early childhood is the reason.