Today we’ll talk about things you DON’T have to do for your kids. Moms are so overwhelmed with the process of taking care of a family, but the reality is that your family, and most especially kids, can do a lot more than we give them credit for.
Parenting is hard.
You’re given this newborn.
Human newborns are as helpless as they come. You literally have to do everything for them. Sometimes we even have to teach them to suck — and have to help them poop.
They’re unable to move, feed themselves…. they’re just a mess.
And, it’s OUR job to help them not only stay alive, but also learn how to be a human, and survive without us.
And ultimately, they need to move out and have their own family, and their own little human who needs them.
And it’s just hard to go from taking care of EVERYTHING for them, and being super protective to make sure they survive, to helping them do it on their own.
Btw, if you’re looking for help on how to help kids grow-up and do things on their own — the course Family Routines might be something you’d love!
Sometimes love to watch wildlife movies that show how other animals traverse this tricky pass.
As I was starting to have teenagers — this particular movie was pretty close to my heart:
The babies HAVE to be pushed out, and just see if they make it down.
And even though it’s SO heartbreaking to see it hit each rock on the way down — they’re MADE to take some serious fails.
So, today I want to talk about four things we don’t HAVE to do for our kids. And also give some ideas on how to help them thrive in doing things on their own (even if it’s not the way we’d do them). I hope it sparks some ideas on ways you can let kids do more at your house!
#1 Make Lunches
Yes, you need to make your baby a bottle, and help toddlers learn how to eat, and not choke.
But, as kids go to school, they need to start taking over the lunches process.
Pro Tip: Give your kids a routine where they pick a main, a fruit/veg and a treat so that they can easily pack it themselves. I go ito that process in depth in my Family Routines course (of course). 🙂
#2 Clean their room
Once kids are mobile, and really able to get out toys on their own — they can help put them away.
And kids need to clean up their room, and at least help clean up the room.
You do NOT need to clean up their room, and as kids enter the upper grades, you are doing them a huge disservice by cleaning it up for them.
A big reason we, as adults, keep clean rooms, is that it makes life easier. Each person has to find that balance. Including your child.
That isn’t to say that they can have a danger in their room with so much clutter that they couldn’t move in an emergency.
But, it’s their job to keep it that way, so they can have privileges like:
- Birthday parties
- Screen Time
And, as long as you stay consistent, and don’t have expectations that are too high — they can meet them.
I have a whole post on what to do with your kid’s room.
#3 Clean their house
You do NOT have to clean up the house on your own.
Kids should help with things like:
- Setting the table
- Making dinner
- Vacuuming (clearly, a lot of these need to be age-appropriate — but once kids are steady on their legs, they can help around the house)
- Cleaning bathrooms
It just needs to be the expectation.
Kids will meet it.
I have a whole post on kid’s chores.
#4 Accept inappropriate behavior
Yes, we need to accept kids for who they are and what they have to give the world. We all have unique gifts — and we all have things to offer the world.
But, accepting inappropriate behavior, like children hitting you, is not OK.
Of course, that’s going to be up to you — the line you draw for your child.
For each child, it is going to be different.
Sidenote: I am a big believer in kids having all the feelings they have (I even let me kids tell me they hate me) — but acting out in a violent way towards me is just not ok. I’ve drawn that line.
A lot of parenthood is drawing boundaries. And then deciding when those boundaries need to change — and it’s HARD.
But, what you most need to remember is that you really are in charge.
Through firm, loving consistency, you can make a change for the better at your house.
If you liked this post — you’ll absolutely LOVE Family Routines — an online course for stressed-out parents struggling with daily tasks. You’ll be able to simplify and find priorities to create easier days and allow for the unexpected.
It will help you live life:
- With more “margins” for the unexpected
- More joy and laughter because you’re no longer stressed out all day
- Less guilt that you’re failing as a teacher
You might also be interested in my Practical Parenting series (and check-out my other parenting post below that)