The bad days are coming
Kids are not small adults, adults are not big kids.
When we do it right.
The end game for a parent is to let go. Making the definition of success. A child that is independent of you.
And what would reassure an anxious parent more than seeing your child on a bad day doing what was necessary?
My kids are 9 and 10 years old. The bad days are coming.
If the definition of success is my kids taking care of their dental hygiene independently of me on a bad day then here are my steps.
- Be present. Stay in the bathroom and focus on ONE thing
- Brush in circles
- Brush the backs of your teeth
- Brush your tongue
- Clean up after yourself.
The whole thing is done in 3 minutes and we move on. Got it?
It’s on me to follow the same rules and not brush my teeth while answering the door, looking at my phone, or finding my socks. Since kids look for examples and copy.
Dependence relies on guidance and frameworks under supervision. Each stage not forgotten and successfully completed is one more small step towards independence. Mastered under your supervision moves to mastered without supervision.
On good days and then onto the bad days. Because:
If you want your child to be smart, give them problems.
If you want your child to be strong give them challenges.
And if the bad days are bad because they no longer need to follow you, just maybe it was a good day as a parent.