Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Don't solve your children's problems...

It is so tempting and sometimes so much easier to just step in and fix things but in the real world they will have to solve their own problems! So think instead about skills you can give them now and what an amazing long term gift it will be when they feel like they can stand on their own two feet and handle anything that comes their way!

"Mom, the shirt I want to wear is still in the laundry."- It is a very good thing for children to learn to do laundry. By 5th grade they can begin learning this. By 7th grade they can be completely in charge of their own laundry. Teach them to sort by color and fabric type . Some parents start with bedding as they teach children to strip their beds, launder, and remake them weekly.

"I am invited to two parties on the same day at the same time!" Be empathetic but model problem solving. Ask, "What are you going to do about that?" "Would you like to know what some kids have tried?" (Attend the party whose invitation you received first or go to half of each party.")

"Dad I have a flat tire!" Again, lead with empathy BUT this is a great time to learn how to change a tire, take it in for repair, even how to purchase a new one. Walk with your child as they learn but do not do it for them. You want them to be able to handle this on their own as young adults.

"I want to buy these shoes but I don't have enough money." Living within your means is all about waiting to buy what you cannot afford. Some parents simply reply, "That is the pits! I hate it when I really want something but I don't have enough money to get it."

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