Friday, April 3, 2009

Fun Mom Songs and How to Raise Independent Children

Hillary Weeks

Mom Song Anita Renfroe
Anita is incredibly creative and fun and I did enjoy the video, but I started thinking about how this is a very real parenting style. I have been around moms like this. It is exhausting for the mom, and the kids totally tune out. It is true that a mom's work never ends, but do our mouths really need to run like this all day? Picture having to watch this video everyday. How long would it take for you to start ignoring her? How capable is a child that has to be told everything to do and micro managed on every aspect of his life? It actually cripples him.

I remember a friend of my daughter commenting on the fact that my two little girls could make toast and a peanut butter sandwich at age 3 and her 13 year old brother still couldn't make a sandwich. My style of parenting is a more hands off approach(except for lots and lots of hugs). The concept is....anything the child can do for themselves, I let them do. Some of the things this includes are: keeping track of their own appointments and carpools, reminding me about their activities (not the other way around), making their own appointments, doing their homework and reports by themselves, waking up and getting themselves ready for school, learn cooking and start doing their own laundry at age 8.

Do you know children whose parents were depressed or disinterested and the child had to become the adult? I don't carry it THAT far. But the principle is still there. The kids will rise to the occasion. If we give them responsibility they will become responsible.

My theory is that I am raising a child to be completely independent by age 18, with every skill necessary when they are thrown into the real world. This means they need to have self management, be able to cook, clean, shop, manage money, earn money, manage time, be a hard worker, know life skills. If I do everything for them, I get tired and they learn very little. If I am always doing everything for them, when they move out and don't have me around to help them, they won't know what to do or even how to think. I know it might sound selfish to have your children do so much but I have seen the results. I would rather have them doing too much for themselves now and find the real world easy than the other way around. I think my older kids can tell you that there wasn't much of an adjustment period when they moved out. They felt like competent adults at age 12. This method develops confident, competent human beings. Instead of me being a worn out, do everything for everyone mother, who nobody listens to, I have more time and my kids become independent. Which method do you prefer?
Authors note:
I don't want to come off looking like I'm the perfect mother. I do think there are many styles of parenting. Here are the comments from my grown kids. Mindy said "I agree that I was very independent, but I also wished growing up that I had a mom that took care of me more. But, maybe that's just me, and I definitely wouldn't be who I am today if you were any different." And Jade said that she didn't like going to the grocery store as much as I made her go. Maybe the real point of this post is to remember to have moderation in all things:)
Here is another perspective. I believed that kids should do their own reports and projects and I didn't help them with these, but I was talking to my sister the other night and her fondest memories were helping her children with their projects. I can see that it could have been some fun family time if that was the intention.
I know each of us do the best we can. For me it is helpful to hear how others view things, so I can choose the best way for me. Hope these ideas helped.

1 comment:

Johnson said...

Is this post for me? Ha, ha! You get my vote for "Oustanding Mother!"