31 Days of NOT Having It All Banner

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Moms, we have a problem…

A school administrator recently told a friend of mine that all the stuff that kids have these days isn’t what spoiling them; it’s their moms. Moms who hover. Mom who step in to fix problems. Moms who coddle. Moms who do not allow their children to suffer the natural consequences of their actions. No wonder a 25-year-old can be found still living at his parents’ home. ~Kay Willis Wyma, Cleaning House

It may or may not be hard for you to believe this, but I have already seen the beginnings of entitlement in our seven and five-year-old. It is my fault. I don’t really want to be one of the moms mentioned in the quote above, but I have underestimated over and over again what my boys are capable of, done it for them, and in the process, created boys who don’t think they can – or don’t want to – do the necessary things for themselves.

Do Everything for My Children

Does any of this sound familiar?

They know how to fold laundry…but it goes much faster if I do it myself.

They know how to clean the sinks…but I’ll probably just have to clean it myself again afterwards, so I’ll do it myself.

They know to make their beds…but they’re in such a hurry in the morning, so I’ll just do it myself after they leave.

Even at seven and five, my boys can actually do much more than I give them credit for, but I have to LET them do those things! In the past year, they’ve learned how to vacuum, fold laundry, dust, take out the trash, and do the dishes. They do these things quite well IF I don’t do the chores for them!

As moms, we need to recognize the value in teaching our children to do the things they should know how to do, around the house and in life. Yes, it takes a little more work right now, but it creates much less work for you and I in the long run!

And even though our kids might will complain at first, they will actually be empowered by this experience…

Our kids want us to challenge them to do more, particularly once they experience firsthand how much better it feels to be productive rather than to be catered to. – Kay Wills Wyma, Cleaning House

I’m fighting the grumbles of my kids and my own do-it-myself attitude this week to teach the kids some new skills around the house. I’m thinking big picture. I don’t want them to have life handed to them on a platter. I want them to know the value of hard work and the reward of a job well done, whether it be making their bed or putting together a big report for school on their own.

In Kay Wills Wyma’s book, Cleaning House, she goes through her 12-month journey to rid of her family of entitlement. In the second month, she teaches all of her children how to meal plan, shop, cook, and clean up from the meal. The month had major ups and some downs, but I love her observation at the end of that month…

I didn’t realize just how much I’ve shackled these kids by racing in and doing for them. On autopilot, I’ve shopped, cooked, and so much more, failing to see the countless opportunities to teach them about life and build self-esteem by helping them do what most of their friends have never considered doing.

Time to stop doing it all for them, moms. Myself included.

What could you teach your kids to do for themselves this week?