I've recently given my son a to-do list in the morning to handle all the jobs that he should be able to do on his own. I am not sure if he likes it or not. (Actually, I am sure he doesn't like it because he would rather play in the morning.) But I love it. I love giving him the responsibility of getting himself ready for school with tasks that he is more than capable of handling on his own.
Does this mean that our mornings go like clockwork? Absolutely not. Most mornings I am still encouraging him to check his list for the next task and getting him in a better mood (bear that he is) so that he is more willing to get through the items that start his day.
But overall? I would count it as a Mommy success story.
Because, here is the thing: Most parents are wiped out by all the tasks that we are doing for other people before we even start our work day. Getting children up, dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed, fed, packed for school, lunches made and everyone out the door on time is stressful. There is never enough time in the morning - even when you try to get up earlier.
So I am very glad that my son has finally reached an age where I can hand him a list of items that he can do on his own before it is time to leave for school. I truly believe that starting this expectation now means that by high school (if all goes according to plan), he will feel like he is truly responsible for his own morning schedule.
Because that is what all parents ultimately want: We want our children to learn how to be responsible for themselves. We want to let go of all of those extra jobs in the morning. (And we want to get back to sleeping in a little bit later ourselves.)
What do you expect your child to do for themselves in the morning? Share with me in the comments.