Most of us have experienced the emotional tug of war that occurs when it would be faster and more efficient to just do something ourselves. In today’s society, we feel a pull in every direction, and as a result we sometimes miss teachable moments in the name of expediency. A tip for the parent is to slow down. Your children are young for such a short time – take the time to teach them important life lessons when the opportunity presents itself.
An Example : Cleaning a Room
One of my sons just couldn’t get the hang of cleaning his room. He would start cleaning one corner and get lost in all the discoveries he had unearthed. One day, I took a deep breath and decided I would sit in the middle of his bed and stay there until the room was clean. So there I sat telling him to put one thing here, another there, until the room was clean. Would it have been faster for me to do it myself? You betcha! Was this technique a success? I know it was — my son (now 29) and I have looked back on this moment and discussed how it was a positive experience for him. Do I wish I had that lost time back or feel that the hours I spent were a waste of time? Absolutely not!
The Value in Not Doing Things for Our Kids
My son learned more than to keep his room clean while I sat on that bed. He also learned that he had a parent who cared enough about him to take the time to teach, love, laugh, and spend time with him. He learned that I would hold him accountable for expected behavior, but that I’d also be there to help him when he needed it. So much of parenting is about being vigilant and consistent. The day I taught my son to clean his room is a wonderful memory for me, and a character enhancing moment for him.
Have you found similar teaching moments in your life by slowing down, showing patience, and letting your kids do it themselves (whatever it may be)? I would love to hear your stories.