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Inevitably when anyone says the phrase, “let it go,” I immediately start singing the song Let it Go in my head. I can’t help myself. Today I had to remind myself that there comes a time to let our kids go and spread their wings. My eldest Jake started college today. A start reminder of how quickly the time comes to let them fly.
As our kids get older, it isn’t easy to give them the independence they need to be successful. We have a visceral reaction as parents to hold them tight and make sure they don’t stumble. If we always catch them when they fall, how will they learn to pick themselves up?
There was a great article circulating on facebook this week. The article titled “Stop doing these 8 things for your teenager this school year” by Amy Carney is genius and spot on. I won’t regurgitate the whole article here, but will share some real life examples and why they’re important.
One of the eight items she lists is making their failure to plan your emergency. Another is to not bring them their forgotten items. This morning, we experienced a mix of both of these. Goalielocks needed to print something for his science class and bring it to school. Unfortunately, Goalielocks forgot about it until right before he had to catch the bus. The boys’ bus has been coming between 7:15-7:30, so they have to be their early in case the bus is early. Hubby didn’t think there was enough time to print it out and make the bus.
Oh the fireworks, the world was ending in Boynton this morning. Although Goalielocks is in 8th grade, the majority of his classes are for high school credit this year. He simply cannot afford to throw away the easy points. Nevertheless, my Hubby didn’t give in and he was right. If they missed the bus, my hubby would have to drive them to school. This would be at least a 30 minute drive each way. Goalielocks left the house in a huff angry that he would miss these points. It was easy to remind him, however, that he had plenty of time the previous evening to print it up.
Since we didn’t relent and he went to school without the form, he had to accept responsibility for his failure to plan. He’s an industrious kid and had to solve his conundrum on his own. Guess what? He did! Goalielocks texted his friend, who was able to print up a form and bring it to school for him. We didn’t rescue him this morning, so he had to figure out how to solve his issue.
If we solve every problem for our kids, they will never learn how to solve their own problems. We won’t always be there to help them or guide them, so it is key that they learn to problem solve independent of us. Our boys also do chores, they can cook themselves a meal and the older two do their own laundry. The Mayor, who just started middle school this year, will learn how to do his own laundry. When they leave our house as an adult, they’ll leave as independent men that can run a household and make their own decisions.