Wellbeing News

Do less, not more, for your kids

By Michael Grose

With school‐aged children we can find ourselves making lunches, getting kids out of bed and cleaning out schoolbags rather than giving these basic tasks of living over to them.

The basic task of parenting, whether you have a two year old or a twenty‐two year old, is to work yourself out of a job at the first possible chance.

REDUNDANCY should be the aim of the game! We never become redundant in a relationship sense – the emotional connection between our children and us is never severed.

In a practical, physical way we need to make children less, rather than more, reliant on us.

Developing independence is really about stepping back to allow children in. Doing less rather than more!

We develop greater independence in our kids one job at a time.

We easily take on children’s responsibilities

It is easy as parents to take on the jobs and responsibilities that really should belong to our children. With toddlers it is so easy to dress, feed and clean up after them rather than give these jobs over to them.

With school‐aged children we can find ourselves making lunches, getting kids out of bed and cleaning out schoolbags rather than giving these basic tasks of living over to them.

TIP NO. 1 for developing independence:

Be clear about who owns jobs or tasks in your family and never take on a child’s job, or part of a task, unless there is extenuating circumstances such as illness.

TIP NO. 2 for developing independence:

Never be more worried about a child’s job than they are, otherwise it becomes your job, not theirs.

The school holidays provide a good opportunity to reflect on the whole notion of job‐sharing. It’s also a good time for kids to increase their job load when they are not burdened with schoolwork and extra‐ curricular activities.

Here’s my challenge for you: Think of a job that you regularly do for your child that he or she can do for him or herself. Then step back and enable your child to do that for themselves on a full‐time basis. Do less not more for your kids.

If you do that, then you can congratulate yourself as you have moved one step more toward REDUNDANCY.

Back to The Duce Issue 2015 05 - 23 April 2015