I got a new book in the mail for one of my cool friends Allison Bottke–Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children.
First, I realized when I got it that I have an adult child. Cory is 18–how crazy is that????!!!
Second, I thought that Allison probably had good advice for those of us who also have younger kids. So I asked, “Allison, what can parents do NOT to begin the enabling pattern?” This is what she said:
Allison: One thing, and there are many, is that parents are so rushed these days that it SEEMS easier to do things for their children that the child should (and could) be doing for themselves because the parent(s) are in a hurry. Things like dressing themselves, tying their own shoes, feeding themselves, and picking up after themselves. There are “age appropriate” tasks that children should be doing for themselves but instead mom or dad swoops in and does it for them – starting the child on the road to a confused mindset of what they should and/or should not be doing on their own.
Pretty soon it’s mom or dad doing their homework for them, or driving them to school because they wouldn’t get up when their alarm rang, or buying them a new pair of jeans because they didn’t put their own in the dirty clothes basket and they have to wear these jeans on this day or they will be ostracized … etc. etc. I’m sure you get the picture.
The key is that children MUST be allowed to do things for themselves AND MOST IMPORTANT – to accept the consequences for not doing it – or doing it wrong …. when mom or dad swoop in and do it themselves because it’s easier or faster or less stressful for THEM – they are doing a HUGE disservice to their child that may have catastrophic consequences when the child grows up.
Tricia: Thanks Allison. That is so true and helpful! This is a book worth checking out! For more advice from Allison go to: http://www.sanitysupport.com/
Stop Lurking! Every week I will draw names for a free Tricia Goyer book from those who comment on my blogs. Winner’s choice! Tell your friends.