#43 More freedom
comes with responsibility
Responsibility is something we all need in life. We want to be responsible adults and live life by example. How do we teach children to be responsible little people? Yes, by example but by practice even more. Kids love feeling important and in control. That is what causes power struggles in parenting: when we don’t allow the child to be in charge of some decisions, jobs, and behaviors. Little kids love having to deal with something that makes them feel big, they love having control. They are humans. They actually feel more secure and loved when they feel they are in control. When we decide to trust our children and decide to let them be responsible for their own choices and actions, they learn so much. They grow when they make mistakes when they try things out to see what works and what doesn’t. They explore the possibilities and become problem solvers little people.
When we let them choose which vegetable to have for dinner they eat better. When we let them choose their own clothes and shoes they feel more confident. When we let them walk to their neighbor friend for a play date they feel so independent. Little things teach our children big things in life.
When we allow more responsibility for our children they become more accountable and learn so much by making mistakes. Instead of blaming us or others, they learn to cope with different situations based on their decisions. Stop the urge to correct their choice, let them know what might happen, but let them decide. (unless they decide to jump off the window)
The opportunity to be responsible makes them act independently and make decisions without authorization, which gives them freedom, and they feel loved. When we love, one of the biggest signs of love is the freedom we give to loved ones to choose their way. My daughter might not wear that cute dress I got her for graduation, but the jumpsuit she loves with the hat she chose looks like her! And I love her so much with or without the dress I got. My son might not date the smart, beautiful girl down the street but the wired-looking one across town, but when he comes home from a date he looks so happy, and I love his happy face.
You got it, right?
Kids are not here to live the life you imagine for them, they are here to live their own true selves.
Kids are not puppets to play with, they are real souls that have their own path in life.
Accept and love your child simply the way they are.
Yes, we can help shape their frame but what they choose to keep inside them is their right and only theirs.
How can we help them cruise life more easily? Start training young and teaching by example. We can’t expect the kids to be off the screens if we have a screen attached to us. We can’t expect a child to drink more water if they see us only drinking fancy drinks.
Anyway, I could go on and on but the most important thing is that you are the best parent ever. You are awesome and you are doing a Goddess/God work as a parent. You are my favorite and your children are the cutest.
To help you let your children be more in control without them running the house I send you back to some posts to re-read and take into consideration. Really, every letter has something in it. And briefly, I believe my subscription is much better than a book that only talks about a subject for 300 pages, the same idea turned around to fill the pages. I write short and on point so is not a time problem where is too much to read, or too much to remember. When you go to my main layout letters you can see the main titles and the subtitles that say it all. The “parenting” named ones are the tools you want to go back to sometimes and refresh what can be done. If you have suggestions for how to arrange the titles so it is easier for you to spot what you want to read about, please let me know. Any suggestions and improvements are well taken into consideration. I am here for you. And I appreciate you being here for me.
Yes, the posts are blocked becasue I want only people that are really interested in my work to have access. So if you are one of them but for any reason, you don’t want to pay a subscription just reply to me with your email and I will add you to the unlocked list. No questions asked but your interest in being a mindful parent. And YES, YOU ARE A MINDFUL PARENT, THE BEST PARENT. Why? Becasue you simply are! Reading and looking for suggestions makes you a responsible parent. An awesome parent! I am in love with your kids and I am proud of you for having them.
I say HI to Leo today. A cute little boy in my neighborhood. I love your voice and I am happy to hear you out there happy, social, crying, and laughing. You are the cutest and you make me smile a lot lately. Even when you cry with so much passion, I think you are cute. I am falling in love with you with every sound you make.
Do you know what is the best in kids? Their passion. They do everything with so much enthusiasm and happiness. Where on the way do we, as adults, lose that passion?!
Jobs for every age
… so children feel capable and significant.
And that is the way to raise responsible little people.
12-18 months to 3 years young:
put soil diapers in the bin, switch off and off lights when carried, clean up toys, fold washcloths and easy laundry, carry the mail, get own snacks from the kid-friendly area, transfer clothes from the washer to dryer, put dirty clothes in the hamper, wipe clean small surfaces with a wet sponge, use small dustbuster to vacuum spills and messes, wash fruit and vegies, tear lettuce for a salad, help set the table, clean their plate after a meal, feed the pets, unload non-sharp things from the dishwasher, choose their clothes, get dressed by themselves as much as possible, wipe the sink, tell you when is a green light to drive, answer the phone when caller ID says is grandparents…
4 to 6 years young
all of the previous above and more … get up in the morning with an alarm clock, help find items for dinner grocery list in-store, measure dish soap and start cycle, fold and hang clothes, separate dark and light clothes in the laundry, empty dishwasher, prepare simple breakfast for themselves (and family on occasion, do their own little laundry (at least once in a while), help measure ingredients, clean bathroom with disinfecting wipes, cook along with an adult, water plants, make their bed, help to vacuum their room and common area in the house, help dusting, help in the garden, get rid of old toys and organizing bins, change batteries for simple toys, take the trash out the car and dust your car, wipe their shies with wet wipes…
7 to 10 years young
all the above and much more: clean and wash the car, help bathe younger siblings, clean their room, load and unload the dishwasher, make snacks, fix light meals, change sheets n their bed, pack lunch, read to siblings, put their laundry away, weekly trash duties and recycling (taking turns with family), iron simple items, mop floors, read and help make recipes, handle their own wallet, answer the phone when relatives call, open the door to relatives and friends.
11 to 15 years young
all the above and more: babysit, plan a route for family little trips(consulting with adult), prepare a family meal once a week, rake leaves, mow loan, take full care of pets, buy groceries from a list(your split the list and meet and cashier, let hem pay), more detailed house cleaning, full laundry tasks, shop online, plant in the garden, operate safe tools for home projects with supervision, help siblings with homework, wash accessible windows, organize their closets and other cabinets in the house, deposit money in their bank account, help parents with vast jobs…
16 to 18 years old
yes, they are old enough to do all of the above and more. It’s time to practice life as an adult and let them do it: run errands, take care of the house, car, garden, maintain the car, help with the family budget (every family has a budget), handle their own bank account, plan events and parties, take charge to decorate the house (remodel one room), go on weekend getaways on their own.
Please review the letters that help teach responsibility:
The best gift you can give your child is freedom.
I know sometimes is hard, you want to protect them, but life is a jungle and they have to learn to adapt with ease. You don’t want a sensitive, gentle little person who shatters at every push at the park. You want them strong and adaptable. I fall, it is OK. I stand up, dust myself off, and try again. Yes, you will be there for them not to point fingers, but offer them the comfort of your shoulder.
I know you don’t ever want them to grow up. You want your babies forever…
Aren’t they just so beautiful with their full wings spread wide open ready to conquer the world? Believe in them. They can do it. Some will fly up to a tree, some up to the tallest mountain or another planet, and others will stay low by the sea shore. Just like that, no matter where and what, they are all artists of their life. All their paintings and stories are just simply beautiful. Because…
Life is beautiful, as imperfectly perfect as it is!
Have a beautiful summer!
Please send me a picture from your dream location vacation. I want to travel the world with you.