I love that my son is fairly tall for his age. First of all, it is handy that he can reach items on shelves without my help. But more importantly, it is a constant reminder that he is getting older and can do things for himself. Like at dinner time: He is more than capable of serving himself food or getting himself more to drink. I don't need to do any of that for him, and he actually enjoys serving himself dinner. Same thing for weekend lunches: He can handle that task by himself.
Granted, he is still nine years old. So, I still have to follow up with him on homework and extra-curricular activities. I don't expect him to be able to project manage at this point, but I do praise him lots when he is focused and on top of his own work. I try to take the time to teach him how to think through his work, but I know this lesson will take a long time to sink in.
Essentially, I am trying to ensure that he knows there are things I'm not going to do for him anymore and that I expect him to do for himself.
Every year, my husband and I add to our son's chore list. He doesn't like this. He rebels against this. He gets the chores anyway. I remind him that he will not live with me forever and he will need to know how to take care of himself.
Adding to my reasons to bolster his abilities is the fact that burnout is real. Children of helicopter parents (those parents who hover and don't let their children solve their own problems) experience a lot of burnout at school and in their personal lives when they are faced with having to do things on their own.
So, while I do rebel against the idea sometime, my son is growing up. And it is my job to help him do that.
What is one task that you are looking forward to having your children do for themselves? Tell me in the comments.
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