5. Making their failure to plan your emergency
School assignments do not get assigned the night before they are due. Hence, I do not storm out and rush to pick up supplies at the last minute to get a project completed. I constantly keep poster boards and all-purpose materials on hand for the postponing child. But, other desired items, you may have to wait for. Do not rush to Michaels the last minute for your child who hasn’t taken the time to plan.
This is a good subject to talk about in weekly family gatherings. Does anyone have any assignments coming up that they’re going to require special supplies so I can pick them up at my convenience this week?
6. Doing all of their laundry
What? YOU didn’t get my shorts washed? This reaction always backfires on the child who might lose their mind thinking that I’m the only one who can do laundry around here. Occasionally a child needs a healthy reminder that I do not work for them. The moment they assume that this is my key role in life is the moment that I joyfully hand over the laundry chore to them.
Most days I do the laundry and the children fold and put their clothes away, but they are proficient enough to tackle the complete process when necessary.
7. Emailing and calling their teachers and coaches
If our child has a problem with an instructor or coach, they’re going to have to take it to the one in charge. There is no way that we, as parents, are going to question a coach or email an instructor about something that ought to be amongst the authority figure and our child.
Don’t be that over involved parent. Instill in your youngsters that if something is important enough to him, then he needs to learn how to handle the matter himself or at least ask you to assist them.
8. Snooping in their academics
Put the pencil down parents. Most of the time, I honestly couldn’t tell you what my kids are doing for homework or assignments. We talk about projects and documents over dinner, but we’ve always had the expectation for our kids to own their work and scores. Occasionally, they’ve earned Principals Lists, Honor Rolls and National Junior Honor Society honors all by themselves. Other times, they’ve missed the mark.
These apps and websites, where parents can go in and see every part of children’s score and homework, are not facilitating our over parenting epidemic.
Once in a while, I will ask the kids to log in their student profile and show me their scores because I want to show them that I do care. I did note our daughter slacking off towards the end of last year and my acknowledgment helped her catch up, but I’m not taking it on as one of my everyday jobs and you shouldn’t be either.
What is your parenting objective?
Is it to raise responsible and capable adults?
If so, then let’s work on stepping back in areas where our kids can stand on their own two feet. I know they’re our darlings and it feels good to linger over them once in a while, but in all seriousness, it’s up to us to nurture them to be responsible and capable individuals.
I want to feel assured when my kids take off into the real world that they are going to be just fine because I stepped back and let them experience failure and real life situations all on their own.
So please don’t judge or criticize me if my kids struggle around, stuffing pre-packaged items into that brown sack lunch, before running off to catch the bus.
It’s all on purpose, my dear friends.
“It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”
by Fredrick Douglass
About the Author: A former sports journalist and editor, Amy Carney currently writes on her blog www.amycarney.com as well as for various online and print outlets about intentional parenting and family life. Amy and her husband, Keith, are busy raising teenage triplet sons, a subsequent teen daughter and a son they adopted from foster care.
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