Help Your Kids by Helping Less

I know you want to help your kids have a great school year. But are you helping too much? Do your best intentions get in the way of your kids learning to take responsibility? Take this quick quiz and find out!

1. When my son leaves his lunch at home I: A. Freak out, worry he’ll go hungry and re-arrange my day to take it by his school. B. Toss it back into the fridge for tomorrow.

2. When my daughter doesn’t have just the right jeans for school I: A. Scour the internet to locate the jeans and pay express shipping to ensure prompt arrival. B. Tell her you are happy to take her to mall when she has the money to purchase them.

3. When my child gets an assignment for a project I: A. Immediately get involved by organizing a timeline, shopping for supplies and assembling the project. B. Support my child in an age appropriate manner by asking questions and providing help only when necessary.

If you answered A, thanks for being honest. It’s time to take a look at how you act and re-act. If you answered B (or wanted desperately for B to be your answer) then you have given some thought to letting your children learn from their own experiences and mistakes.

How can we best help our children have a great school year? Give them the opportunity to learn from their own mistakes. This gets harder the older they get, so don’t be afraid to start young. Here are a few ways to get started…

Let the left-behind homework sit on the counter. Stick the forgotten lunchbox back in the fridge. Don’t go back home for the baseball glove. Sit on your hands and bite your tounge when the science project is not up to snuff. Let the teacher tell your child that their handwriting is illegible. Refrain from checking your child’s online grades obsessively. Stick to the clothing or back to school budget you have set. Let your little one go to pre-school in his PJ’s. Don’t sign the nightly reading (or band practice) log if your child doesn’t do the work. Allow them to pay the fines on late library books. And when your child is upset? Help lock in the learning by using empathy, not anger. Hard to do? YES! Worth the effort, absolutley.

Want to learn more about teaching kids to become responsible? Let’s schedule a ten minute call just to chat. Please e-mail me we’ll see how I can support you in your parenting goals, whether it’s a workshop or private sessions! I can’t wait to hear from you!