I have proclaimed that this is the Summer of Independence! I came up with this idea before school ended in June and have been sticking through with my promise. As moms most us do everything for our children and I mean everything. I had a parent tell me actually that I was robbing my children of their childhood by making them do things other then watching TV. Personally, I feel as if I’m gifting them with a very special gift of being able to do things for themselves. I have found out that I was right. Although Summer isn’t over yet and I haven’t met all of “independence” goals, we are off to a good start. The kids feel empowered and confident. That comes from not feeling helpless. The hardest part of this plan is being able to sit back and realize that things may take longer and not be perfect, but in the long run I’m doing them a favor. ( Myself as well!)
Here is the scoop:
I made a list of goals that I would like my children to accomplish this Summer. Now you might think that some of these goals are “chores”, but in fact these are valuable life skills. My boys are having fun.My boys are 8 and 6.
1. Get their own snacks and drinks. ( Sure, there are spills by my 6 year old, but hey, I don’t have to get up!)
2. Put all of their laundry away in the correct drawers. ( They already pick out their own clothes and such.)
3. Bring their plates to the counter when they are done eating and put their cups in the fridge if they still have beverage in them.
4. Be able to make one breakfast and lunch by themselves.
5. Learn how to use the phone in the correct fashion. ( Dial and pick up)
6. Learn how to use my smartphone. ( Dial and pick up)
7. Learn how to use the microwave, dishwasher and laundry machines work. ( Now, now, don’t get scared. I just want them to know how they work.)
8. Pick their rooms up at night. ( Without me asking!)
9. Make their beds every morning. ( You can’t criticize. They do their best and should be proud!)
10. Learn how to use all the different machines in the house DVD, Blu-Ray, Wii, computers, and TV’s.
I also had my youngest get his own library card so he could learn to be responsible for borrowing and returning items. They also practice their instruments and do educational worksheets everyday, except the weekend! It’s hard as a mom to step back and let them make mistakes. It’s hard to look at lumpy beds and little guys with towels cleaning up spills, but it’s good. They are so happy! It’s because they can do it. I can’t even think of a better gift to give my boys than that. There are also so many other little things that have happened over this Summer. I have even let my sons tell me what subway we should get on to get to “X” location just to see what they would say. These guys did beyond great! Just an FYI, we don’t live in Manhattan, but 1 1/2 hour away. We just visit frequently and I want my guys to be able to get around some day by themselves. Think whatever you like, but they have embraced independence. I have embraced not being the maid!