Mama Mantra: Let Them Do It

Posted September 3, 2019 by Prairie Wife -

Any time that I go out and about town with all the Cowkids, people tend to stop and stare.

After all, a mom with five kids in tow is definitely something to see.

In today’s society, it’s not uncommon for someone to comment on what they see.

Aside from comments about the sheer quantity of children, the number one comment I hear the most is “Oh honey, did you know her/his shoes are on the wrong feet?”

Every single time, it takes all of my self-control to keep my mouth shut.

Because that seemingly innocent comment undoes years of work.

Do you know how much patience and time it takes to teach a child to dress themselves?

I distinctly remember the horror of teaching a three-year-old Cowboy J to put socks on. I have no idea why this particular task was SO difficult for him but it was absolute hell.

So when my kids come out completely dressed top to bottom with no help from me the only thing I say is “Great work!”

Yes, their shoes are often on the wrong feet.

Of course, nothing matches (especially socks) and chances are there are either one too many layers or one too few for the current weather situation.

But they did it themselves, and their sweet confident smiles when they proudly show off their look, are a thing of beauty.

The same goes for picking up their rooms, or doing laundry, or “reading” me a book.

Letting your kids do things for themselves, no matter how painful it is at first, will help them grow into self-sufficient confident adults.

Yes, you may need to spend hours showing them how to complete the task.

Yes, it is likely that the first 100 times that they do a task on their own, it will be done wrong.

But trust me, it’s totally worth it.

My thirteen-year-old son may believe that anything neon goes together, and while it makes me cringe he’s perfectly happy with his look.

The dozens of broken eggs over the years is no big deal when my kids make breakfast for the whole entire family…and clean up afterward.

Let them do it.

Let them make mistakes.

Let them make their own choices.

Let them go out in public looking terribly disheveled with crooked ponytails and 5 barrettes in their hair.

Let people stare.

Because a hundred stares and dirty looks can’t compare to one sweet little girls hug and “Don’t I look great mom?!” when she comes out of her room dressed and ready to attack the day!

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Categories: Life As It Happens, Parenting

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