I’ve been mother and a psychologist for 16 years and its a tantalizing combination at times. I used to be caught over-thinking, over-analyzing and trying to full-proof my son’s emotional life before I would take action. I’d over-process with my weary husband about the effects of just about anything on my son’s self esteem. Thank god that phase is over.
Now I’m a parenting coach, and have tremendous fun helping other parents out of some of the same predicaments I was in. My main problem? I was busy being friends with my children, and not a firm authority figure. I didn’t want to say anything that would make me unpopular. I wanted to be helpful. I wanted to make sure they got all the attention and support I didn’t get when I was young. John Rosemond, parenting expert, calls this the “helicopter mom”~ paying more attention to your children, than they do to you. Putting their needs, their tasks, their homework, their schedules at the CENTER of the family evening. Why is this a problem? Because its creating a nation of over-indulged, under-achieving kids!
Sir Ken Robinson, ingenious, entertaining, education expert, stated in an interview that the 2 most important qualities our organizations need in their employees, in order to resolve the complicated world problems we currently face are:
1) the ability to creatively problem-solve
2) the ability to contribute in a group
Guess what? Those qualities have become rare. Ken Robinson is focusing on schools. I’m going to focus on the Home front.
Over the next week, I’ll share the core pieces of what I have learned about becoming the parent of hard-working, resourceful, self-directing, cooperative, and confident kids.
First on the list, is one of the most critical:
1. Make sure your children are doing a daily chore. No matter what age (after 2), children contributing to the household with a 5 minute daily chore, grows into good citizenship when they’re older.
2. On weekends, 30 minutes of deep cleaning the bedroom, taking sheets off bed, dusting, vacuuming; cleaning their own sink and toilet
3. Never pay children money for doing chores. Allowance is a separate issue that teaches about money. Chores are about learning to contribute to a family.
Examples of 5 minute chore:
empty the garbage/replace bag
cat box (scoop/refresh litter)
sweep the kitchen
set the table
clean the sliding glass windows
straighten the play room
I look forward to questions and feedback on this hot topic!