A friend of mine at work told me that when her daughter started high school, the principal had a meeting with all the parents and told them that they weren't allowed to make lunch for their children anymore. She then proceeded to give the parents a long list of items that they should no longer be doing for their teen.
My friend said it was harsh and horrible to hear (she liked making her daughter lunch), but she also said it was the right advice. My friend admitted that she still did too much for her child.
I think about this story every time I tell my son do something for himself that he doesn't want to do (like his laundry or cook dinner on his designated night). It's hard in the moment, but it's better over the course of his life. Our children need to learn to deal with their own responsibilities.
Of course, for all the parents who are still making their child's doctor's appointments, reminding them of homework assignments and (this one scares me the most) talking to their child's bosses - the world has come up with a new term: Lawnmower parenting.
I get it: It's hard to resist removing all the obstacles in your child's path. But it is necessary to let them deal with their own obstacles if you ever want them to learn how to overcome them.
In our household, I try to remember to ask myself one question: Is this something my son should be able to handle on his own? If the answer is yes, then he should handle it. If the answer is no, then I need to ask myself why he can't handle it yet, or if I should let him at least try.
As heartbreaking as it is, I have to make sure my son doesn't need me one day.
What are you afraid to let your child handle on his/her own? Share with me in the comments.