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Pick Up Your Own Legos, Kid!

I've always been all about about personal responsibility and autonomy. Maybe it's the way I was raised. I remember getting myself up for school in the morning, preparing my own breakfast, and making sure to get all my homework done. My parents were working, and while they were involved in my daily life, they weren't on top of me to make sure I was doing what I needed to do.

I've pretty much adopted that same attitude with my own kids. I know they're still little (four and three) but there's a lot they can do on their own. I expect them to clean up their own toys, because who has time to pick up a thousand Lego and puzzle pieces everyday? Not this mom!

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They also put their dirty dishes in the sink, help me wipe down tables, put their clothes in the hamper, get their own snacks from the pantry, and put on their pajamas at bedtime. It really takes a lot of stress out of motherhood, especially being in the middle of the third trimester of this pregnancy. It's nice to have kids that can do so much on their own.

My son has always been a pretty responsible kid and he's about five months away from turning five and starting kindergarten. I don't want to be the nagging mom constantly reminding him of what he needs to do (and I certainly don't want his future spouse to be the nagging partner either,) so I've started to give him more responsibility and stopped reminding him of the little things he needs to do everyday.

Sometimes it can be painful for me to let Liam do things on his own. I want to protect him from negative consequences.

For example, on Sunday mornings we go to church and he's supposed to bring his Bible to his class every week. I used to remind him, but now I'm kind of over it. He knows he's expected to bring his Bible and is pretty good about remembering, but there have been weeks when it has slipped his mind. He will give me an exasperated look and I'll shrug and tell him, "Well, it's your responsibility, maybe next time you will remember."

Sometimes it can be painful for me to let Liam do things on his own. I want to protect him from negative consequences. I don't want to see him getting in trouble for forgetting an assignment or missing out on anything fun.

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Independence hasn't been a strong suit for my son and I believe he's at an age where he needs to be stretched. He's smart, he knows our daily routine and he can handle remembering his lunchbox before we leave the house for school.

I don't want to be that mom working on her middle-schooler's science fair project the night before it's due. I don't want to be that mom dragging her high-schooler out of bed for school in the morning. So I think it's better for my son to learn these lessons now at just four years old, than later when the consequences will be even bigger.

Photograph by: Twenty20

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