You caught me.
My epiphany came to me from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My son's persistence in asking to make his school lunch caught me off guard. He was given the choice to play legos with his sister or to watch me make his lunch, but he wanted neither choice. He had to make it himself.
With reluctance, I consented. However, it was in this very moment I had the realization that I was doing too much for my kids and therefore, stunting their growth to responsibility, independence, and taking pride in their own work. I was stunned that he was perfectly capable of making his own lunch--a beautiful PBJ sandwich with a fruit, a vegetable, and a dairy item. I guess five-year-olds aren't as little as they appear.
"Why have I kept this responsibility from him?" I thought to myself. This was a loaded question with a myriad answers that led to more questions.
This moment left me with four takeaways:
1. It's okay to be needed less (independence and responsibility is a gift!).
2. I need to let my kids make mistakes and fail, especially when the price of the consequences are cheap.
3. Check my attitude and consider what unintended messages I may be communicating ("I am [not] competent." "I am [not] responsible." "I am [not] progressing in my learned skills.")
4. Recognize that my gut reactions--which naturally find their roots from my upbringing--need some repairing (Am I being particular because I was not given the freedom to be creative? Am I controlling this because I am living in fear? Am I irritated because I am being reminded of someone? Am I annoyed because of a faulty message I was given as a child?).
Growth is good.
And so are PBJ’s.
Chris is a wife and a stay at home mom of two children. She and her family enjoy hiking, kayaking, camping, playing games, and exploring new places together. Chris writes about marriage and parenting, and shares about her insights on her personal struggles with the intention that others might find validation, encouragement, and perspective.
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