I am a full-time blogger, or, as I like to say, "content provider." But I am also a cook, maid, chauffeur, laundress, valet, social coordinator, nurse, personal assistant and all-around gopher to one very special client—my 7-year-old daughter.
I do not get paid for my services; I am just rewarded for my work in hugs, cuddles and kisses. And although that is a totally fair trade, I have recently realized that there needs to be an intervention, or strike of sorts. My daughter needs to realize that she can do certain things herself, and I am not—and should not be—always at her beck and call. I am her mom, not her slave. My job is to guide her to adulthood, not to cater to her every whim.
Here's an example. She's sitting on the couch and instead of putting her snack dish on the table 1 foot away, she will pass it to me to put on the table for her ... even when I'm across the room. Here's another example. I'm busy doing something and she'll want a glass of milk. But instead of getting it herself, she will want me to stop everything to get it for her.
These are simple things I would have done, without complaint, for years before. But she's about to go into 2nd grade and she can do these tasks, herself. I do not want to raise a lazy, entitled, I-can't-do-anything-for-myself type of kid. I want an independent, confident, self-sufficient person to emerge during the all-important process of growing up. And doing everything for her? It ain't gonna get her there.
It is a challenge because kids have it pretty good. Their parents—also known as caretakers—literally take care of them. But, sometimes, we parents take it too far and take care of every single whim and whimper, and perhaps we wind up raising a generation of wimps.
I must stay strong for the good of not just my child, but the country.
EmpoweringParents.com warns, "When you get stuck in a role of doing too much, you might find it hard to give it up—and often, those around you might not want you to stop!" Very true. My daughter will give me a look that's a mix between a child in a Keane print and a sad pug, and I'll give in to her demands. I'll do what she wants and I'll end up back in the role of maid—a role she loves me in, and why wouldn't she?
But I must stay strong for the good of not just my child, but the country. Something the site TheArtofManliness.com is worried about as well. In a post, "Quit Coddling Your Kids" one writer says, "I look around at young people these days, and I honestly fear for the future of my country. People are becoming less and less resilient and more and more clueless on how to survive in the real world. We live in a society of namby pamby men and women who whine when they don’t get what they want and think they are entitled to all the comforts the world has to offer. What do I blame it on? Bad parenting."
I do not want to be one of the bad parents raising a "namby pamby" woman. I want to give her the tools so she can survive on her own. I'm not talking about being able to start a fire with just rubbing two sticks together or how to perform CPR (but those could prove to be quite useful someday). She just needs to tackle the basics: putting down her own snack plate, pouring her own milk, grabbing her own set of pajamas. I will always—and I mean always—be there for her to help with the big stuff. But the day-to-day? I think she's old enough to take some of the duties off of her mom/maid.
Do you find yourself doing more for your child than you really need to?