I tend to drop the ball every now and then when it comes to some basic life skills for my kids. I don’t do it intentionally of course, but for example, when it came time to teach my oldest how to tie her shoes, the idea just beat me down. I procrastinated the lesson, and found some super cute velcro Sketcher type shoes she could wear instead. She eventually did get the skill, but wasn’t at the top of her shoe tying class. This past weekend, when the Girl Scouts prepared food for the Ronald McDonald House, I pondered the idea of giving her a knife to cut some veggies. I inquired to my fellow moms to see if they had introduced the knife into their daughters’ food preparation habits, which they hadn’t, so I was good there…but it got me thinking.
What else am I dropping the ball on? Am I still doing too much for my older, wiser kids?
The answer? In the words of one of my genius friends, yes. Her children (6th and 3rd grade respectively) make their own lunches everyday. EVERYDAY! What an amazing gift of time that would be if my kids made their own lunches! My husband and I passively aggressively hand this chore off to each other, both of us dreading the factory line of sandwiches, apple cutting, chip baggying, etc. I’ve also procrastinated delegating this chore to the kids because the idea of peanut butter on the counter, and chip crumbs all over the floor made me cringe. But, the key to this genius is another element of genius. It musn’t make more work for the Mommy. If it does, that’s a problem, and problems have consequences. So, I have handed that chore off to my oldest, with the Mommy Work Rule in place. She is now responsible for all kid lunches. Everyday. At first she balked at the idea, citing Cinderella cruelty, but I quickly squashed that chatter by reminding her that I gave her life. I’m telling you, it’s a necessary phrase in your everyday life.
The result? Tonight after dinner, I had the boys getting ready for bed, my daughter making sandwiches, while I finished up cleaning the kitchen. Because of this little element of delegation, all kitchen duties were done early and we had EXTRA TIME to hang on the couch before bedtimes. It was a gift, and a gift I look forward to receiving over and over as I realize my kids can take on these additional big person responsibilities.
Maybe they are on their way to functioning members of society. Who knew?