Since I have children all over the age spectrum, I can truly read this quote and see such truth in it. Responsibility and independence seem so far away when they are our babies, but holding on too tight for too long stifles their God given curiosity, growth and potential.
For moms letting go is a little tough. I mean obviously this takes time and time is precious but a little time spent now will be time saved later. Teaching responsibility by asking them to clean the bathroom is so challenging for so many reasons. My reason is the mirror. Why is it so hard to clean it? I mean what did they clean it with?
I did let go and have reaped the benefits. There is literally an entire side of the house I NEVER CLEAN! I taught my kiddos using the I do, we do, you do method. Meaning, I modeled what I wanted it to look like. The next time we'd do it together, then they'd do it on their own. I always offered praise for the parts they did well and then worked with them to redo what needed improvement. It takes time but oh so worth it.
My number three is my first homeschool kiddo, I am forging new territory. She definitely has her cleaning routine down, so now we're working on a school independence routine. This is a copy of her independence routine for the week. It follows a routine so every week she knows what to expect unless we have a field trip.
I have created areas of margin for her in her routine. However she is not allowed to use margin for procrastination. She sets the pace for her work, if she feels she can double up then she does. If she's ready early for her spelling test then she can take it early. She's not completely on her own, I still teach her math and double check her work, but everything else she pretty much paces herself.
Although she has freedom to manage her time, the first row is non-negotiable as far as being first, God is always #1. The final square has a place to remind her to plan ahead. I don't expect perfection and obviously she's only nine so she's going to make mistakes. My goal is to lead her towards responsibility and independence using baby steps.
Every morning after breakfast and Bible we have a morning meeting and talk about the day and what the expectations are. After that she decides what she is going to start with. This year has been a great year of growth in her.
Please remember if your child is little, they'll need more help and more hand holding as far as instruction. But in the end you'll reap the benefits of your hard work.
My older boys have taught me that even though they're grown, responsible and independent they will always come home to their momma. Those phone calls make my day!
How have you taught your kids responsibility and independence? Any great stories to share?
I'm praying for you!