Doing Too Much For Your Kids?


Do you do too much for your kiddos? I know that I am guilty of this from time to time, but didn’t realize just how much I do that I shouldn’t, until I tried to stop this week. Let me explain. I read an interesting article from last week entitled “Why Fixing Things For Your Child Does Not Help”. (It’s a great article that I highly recommend.)

In the article Sara Bean, M.Ed. explains why doing even the smallest things for your children, such as picking up their clothes or toys on a regular basis, robs them of the ability to learn how to pick up after themselves. 

“In order for children to learn how to do hard things, you have to let them go through hard times. There is no way to truly master something without experiencing it,” Ms. Bean wrote.

She then outlines other traps well-intentioned parents often fall into, such as writing or typing up homework assignments.

Well, luckily, I’m not doing that just yet. But I decided that I’d no longer pick up the towels on the bathroom floor; clothes thrown in the corner; juice boxes; snack bags; various papers; toys and socks strewn across the den. The first day went well, but during the day, when my boys were in school, I had to keep reminding myself NOT to pick up their items. When I picked up my oldest (who is the worst offender) I had to point out everything left as it was thrown, and force him to pick up, throw away, put in the laundry bin, etc. Boy did he complain!

Four days later, after starting this new campaign, I look around me as I write and see a coat on the couch, a Reese’s wrapper on the floor, a Vitamin Water bottle on a chair, and toys strewn on the floor. It’s an endless endeavor to get kids to pick up after themselves. It’s clearly not an easy fix. My son literally has the knee-jerk reaction to throw things, leave things and not put away anything. But, I’m determined to break him. And, it may just be time to re-introduce the dreaded allowance.

In the meantime, I get to nag more and to point out the messes like a drill Sargeant— but hey, at least it’s good for my child, right?

Can anyone relate?

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