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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Do It Yourself? Are you Sure?

I can’t exactly remember the context, but I often remember as I was growing up my mother stating, “You raise your kids to be independent.” Since Mom cut my meat until I was fifteen, and relied on my college roommate to provide me laundry instructions, I’m thinking that she was giving herself a pep talk in attempt to change her enabling behavior.

No matter, I get it. I get the fact that it’s really, really hard not to wait hand and foot on your kids. Even if it makes you pissy because you’re too busy doing everything for everyone.

Case #1: Alex, first child, currently age 11. To this day, she would gladly let me do everything for her. “Mom, can you get me some milk.” Some instinctual message directs me to gravitate to the fridge before Doug lovingly tells his daughter, “Get your own damn milk.” I guess my husband buys into the ‘independence’ philosophy.

Case #2: Cole, my second child, currently age 7, opposite of Alex. He continually has something to prove. On several occasions I have caught him in the act of pouring a full pitcher of lemonade bound to spill all over the kitchen counter. He’s also the one who can make himself French toast. Of course I watch to ensure he doesn’t burn himself, but he’s easily angered if I try to take over the job. What is it with this second child? He either likes to prepare his own breakfast because 1) he gets a sense of satisfaction from doing it himself or 2) he doesn’t like my cooking. (Typically, I trick him by having his breakfast done before he enters the kitchen in the morning.)

So, despite my efforts to keep my kids dependent on me forever, other forces of nature seem to be at work. But they can’t keep me from cutting their meat.

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