You see them everyday, you know them and sometimes you might be one of them
– The parent forcing gloves/jacket etc onto a screaming kid
– The parent battling with their kid to sit down and eat dinner
– The parent exclaiming “be careful!!” everytime the kid walks down the stairs by themselves or climbs on the jungle gym at the park.
– The “let me so that for you it’s too heavy for you” parent.
Here’s my 10 second advice:
Junior turned 2 not too long ago. If you saw him this morning this is what you would’ve seen. Him, carefully walking down the stairs. Fully clothes except for hat and mittens. Asking for a hat and mittens as we get outside. An hour later he goes to my bag (we’re still outside) and grabs a small black cooling bag, walks to the kitchen area, pulls out a chair, climbs up and waits for me to come.
You may think that my son is a very well mannered boy because I taught him good manners. You’d be wrong.
He’s a very well mannered boy because he taught himself good manners. (Wait, what?)
Remind me later and I will tell you what a servant leader is. That’s the basis of my parenting; or expressed differently
Help me to to teach myself
It has always been my priority to respect my child and the person he is. To assist him in his development without doing things for him.
Junior didn’t use to be a fan of wearing clothes. Still isn’t at times. Instead of forcing him to wear clothes I told him he could go without and then told him that I would bring a sweater (or whatever) in my bag (or pocket) just incase he needed it later. Instead of asserting my authority, my dominance I chose to let him decide, I trusted him to let me know when he gets cold. (He always has).
I will bring food to an outing but what he eats and IF he eats is his choice. The what being I might bring options such as fruit or meat (not candy) but wether he eat one, both or neither is up to him.
Ever since he could walk I have said “you want to walk up/down the stairs then you should.” If you want my help here’s a hand (offer, don’t force it) or you have the railing over there (offer, don’t force). Sometimes he would take it, sometimes not. Sometimes he would fall but I would always be right behind him cheering him on to get back up again. I seldom tell him to be careful in advance but rather thank him afterwards for being careful so that he can feel pride in his own accomplishment.
You wanna carry my bag up the stairs? Why not. (Instead of stating it’s too heavy let him try and then offer to help (but accept any answer)
Back off and just trust him and the person that he is. Trust that he can make decisions by himself, make judgment calls and learn by trial and error wether it was a good or bad decision or call.
This ticks people off! To NO END!
I find it hilarious!
-You can’t let him decide wether he wants to wear clothes or not, he’s only 2. (I can’t? Pretty sure I just did)
-He can’t carry that, it’s way too heavy! (Well, let him figure that out and then offer to help (and don’t forget to say thank you)
He asks for mittens because he’s cold. He goes to my bag and gets his cooler because he’s hungry. He walks up and down the stairs and carries thing I didn’t even know he could lift. Why? Because he wants to. Because he taught himself how to. With my help. My role as a mom is to help him be the best that he can be. How can I do that if I don’t give him the chance (when appropriate) to lead?