This quote really resonated so much: “It’s not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.” (Ann Landers)
Today while helping my 8 year-old daughter with homework (and rolling my eyes behind her back for making me get up out of my seat 14 times in quick succession), I realized that there are a number of things a lot of us parents do to enable our children and dissuade them from being independent thinkers and doers, and therefore molding them into bewildered adults (who surely will later blame us for everything anyway).
So, here goes, kids. I hereby vow to:
–Not help you with your homework. I will CHECK your homework, but only AFTER you’ve truly made your best attempt and completed an assignment, even if it’s wrong. No one ever helped me with homework! Seriously, people.
–Not ask you what you want for dinner. I am going to make ONE meal, and you will either eat it, or be hungry.
–Not lay out your clothes, and if you walk downstairs looking like something out of Alice in Wonderland, I will smile and say ‘you look great!’
–Not tell you that every single art project, or song you sing, or math problem you do is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. Instead I will ask you questions about that neon pink clay cat: “What was your favorite part about making it?”
–Not get caught up in your every disappointment or fear. Maybe if I show you that I’m not freaked out that bad or scary things happen, you will follow my lead.
–Not go crawling around your room to find your dirty clothes and stinky socks. You can surely figure out how to get a load of laundry going, and then put it in the dryer. (You DEFINITELY will figure this out once you have no underwear or shirts to wear to school.)
–Not fix you cereal or other simple meals. And when the milk spills all over the counter, I will point you in the direction of the dish towels.
–ALWAYS, always, be here for you. To listen, to hug, to offer a shoulder, to giggle with. And to cry behind your back when you walk away from me on your way into school, giving me that ‘I’m a big kid now, Mom’ smirk and half-hearted wave.