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My son has asked for - and received - some new responsibilities this year. All of the items are activities he is definitely capable of, and he seems to like doing them. I like watching him mow the lawn or help with more chores or make decisions about his after school activities.

But - what I really wonder - is why I didn't encourage him to try these responsibilities out sooner.

I wouldn't say that I am a pushover parent, but I am definitely the one who still sees my son as more kid than young man. Is that a Mom thing? I find myself having to repeat his age to myself (he really is nine) and remember that while he could still revert back to childish behaviors, we should be having more conversations and less yelling.

It pains me, but I have to actively remember that he is growing up. And that means re-evaluating his milestones.

Not all milestones are the same for his age range, but I need to at least take the time to ensure that I am helping my son grow up. I do, after all, want him to be a successful adult one day. As I keep reading articles about how teens and twentysomethings seem to be taking longer to make the spl..., I know that we parents are the ones to blame.

While I do not want to encourage the riskier teen behaviors in my son, I do want to make sure he knows that its OK to forge his own path away from Mom and Dad. It is, in other words, OK to grow up.

Even if I don't always like it.

Are you actively helping your child grow up? Talk about it in the comments.

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