I learned a little late in the game that it always proves more beneficial in the long run to let kids figure things out on their own. For one, doing so means less future work for Mom (yay!). And two, the kids exercise their problem-solving and decision-making muscles, which are great tools to have as adults.
I learned this late, so when my kids were young, I did a lot of stuff for them. From tying their shoelaces and cutting their food, to ordering for them at restaurants and doing their laundry, I figured it would just be easier if I did it for them, not really considering that these all represented life skills they’d soon need.
It was only when my elder daughter was preparing to head across the country to university when I realized that this kid didn’t know how to wash a load of clothes or make a dentist appointment for herself! I quickly gave her the low-down on those and other skills she needed, and although I wouldn’t say it was a smashing success, she did (and is doing) okay, considering.
Faced with that rude awakening, I quickly began to insist my then 11-year-old start being more independent and doing things for herself. She may not love making her own school lunch, or being responsible for getting herself up on time every weekday morning, but I’m certain doing these things for herself will help her become more confident and self-sufficient, on her road to independence and adulthood.
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