Goal 1: Self-Reliant Children

I’m setting some goals for myself this year, NOT resolutions!

What’s the difference you ask?

Well, resolutions can get broken, goals are something to strive for.

My No. 1 Goal is to be less of a Helicopter Mom.

Over Christmas vacation I took a look at my kids and realized by their ages I was doing laundry, cooking meals, general housecleaning, I was home alone supervised by my Bubba and Sissy.

My kids do none of that. I have always been quick to “help” them (aka just do it for them!).

I realize now I’ve created kids who have absolutely no real self-reliance skills.

You know they say the first step in overcoming a problem is to first admit it exists. I’m saying to all the world, “I AM A HELICOPTER MOM! and I’m trying to land.”

Yes, my children clean their rooms, with help. They make basic microwave meals and toast, with help. They make cookies, with help. They play outside, supervised. They don’t stay home alone, EVER.

Currently, the extent of their cleaning skills extends to emptying the dishwasher (Big does the plates and bowls that go up high and Baby does the silverware), making the occassional bed, stacking items on the stairs to “take up later” and completely missing the laundry basket sitting next to their dirty clothes. And, Big is supposed to take her basket down when it is full and I’ll run it through the washing machine for her, but it doesn’t quite work out that way.

This is going to change.

Now.

Hopefully.

The other day after I ran Baby’s clothes through the washer and dryer I had her come help me fold.

She’s usually a willing participant in things like folding clothes and making beds, it’s the whole putting away toys and books that she balks at cuz’ “I’m playing with that!”

Christmas Break 2 002

But, folding clothes out of the dryer is a new experience for her.

In Pennslvania, our washer and dryer were in a dank basement at the bottom of rickety stairs. The kids were rarely allowed in the basement. In Tennessee, the washer and dryer are just off the kitchen. It works out quite nicely!

Christmas Break 2 004

The next day I ran Big’s clothes through and called her to help fold.

“WHAT!” She hollered! “I don’t know how to do that!”

I told her, “If your Baby sister can do it, I’m sure you can figure it out! Besides, anyone who is known as a walking encyclopedia is smart enough to figure out how to fold clothes.”

And she did.

But she wouldn’t let me take her picture.

It wouldn’t have been a pretty picture anyways. She wasn’t happy about folding clothes.

Just wait until she has to do the floors! (insert evil laugh here!)

I’ll let you in on Goal No. 2 next week.

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6 thoughts on “Goal 1: Self-Reliant Children

  1. Oh, I could take a tip from you! My boy is only 2, but I can already tell I will be a hovering mess no matter his age. I’ve got the “let me do it for you… the right way” gene!

  2. I don’t know where I got that gene from, but it’s definitely a dominant one! I often find myself having to take a deep breath and count to 10 and step back…people think I’m crazy ‘cuz I’m walking around muttering, “It’s okay if it isn’t the way I’d do it” over and over and over again. I think I’ll blame the OCD.

  3. Good luck with your goals! I know you are quite capable. I can’t wait to read about all the antics that go into the goals. I think this is FABULOUS!!! Because when I look at kids these days who have no idea how to take care of themselves, it makes me crazy. “Grow up” has become a favorite phrase of mine lately.

    • Thanks, I think I’ll need all kinds of luck, mostly because I’m such a control freak! I think it should help that I’m going to start working full-time again…I’m going to need their help so they’re going to have to step up! Right now I am struggling not to go upstairs and get Meg’s dirty clothes basket and do her laundry…

  4. Pingback: What, Sissy, No Wally? « Accidental Southern Mama

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