Memorial Day / Giving our Kids More Responsibility

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As our hearts grieve for the families in Texas right now who were affected by the tragedy, I wanted to share a very helpful video with you by Sissy Goff, A Christian Counselor – about how to talk to your kids about what happened and what we can do. Our hearts are with you and we are praying for you. https://www.facebook.com/sissy.goff/videos/978196789541695

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For the life of me, I cannot remember who said this to me – just that she was a mom of grown kids. The mom wasn’t saying she wish she’d been there less for her kids, but that she wish she had given her kids more responsibility as they were growing up so they would have been more self-sufficient. Isn’t that one of our goals as parents?

To prepare them for the real world the best we can. To help them become mature adults, so they are ready to fly when they leave our homes. I think many times we don’t give our kids enough credit for what they are capable of doing.

It can so easily happen… It’s easier for us to do the dishes, clear the table, clean the floor so we don’t have them clean up. We do it ourselves. They learn that someone does it for them. We clean their rooms – they learn that they don’t have to. We step in to solve their problems instead of letting them gain confidence by learning they can solve it themselves. There are such subtle ways that we can tend to do too much for our kids. 

I’m not saying we can’t do any of the above, but when our kids have an active role in things like cleaning up after meals, cleaning their rooms, initiating problem solving to name a few examples, they learn how to do it, see they are capable, and are less likely to feel entitled and more likely to be appreciative. 

My kids normally make their own lunches, but if I make it for them one day, it becomes a gift instead of an expectation, and they are so appreciative. 

We can start small. It can be:

– Our kids making their own lunches. 
– Setting an alarm to wake up. 
– Picking out their clothes to wear that day themselves. 
– Keeping their room clean throughout the week, and cleaning it themselves.
– Helping out around the house. 
– Putting their dishes in the dishwasher.
– When they have a problem with a friend or with school, asking them what they think they will do about it (we can guide them of course, but when we put the ball in their courts it helps them become more confident problem solvers as they see we have confidence in their abilities.)

Each family of course has to decide what responsibilities are best for their kids to have as it’s not an equation, but the point is to begin giving our kids more ownership as they grow older so when they do leave our homes, they are prepared to. When we give our kids more ownership and responsibility, they will see that they are capable, that they can make their own choices and don’t need someone deciding things for them – which is definitely a muscle we want to help flex so that in their middle school and high school years they will grow in confidence and know how to be an independent thinker among their peers. To see a practical way to help our kids grow in responsibility, see my post on How to Do “Allowance”.

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