There is a “Zillow under Abby’s pillow!”
Oh wait, that’s just her beloved Sheep-sheep.
Yes, sometimes it looks like there is a “Zillow under Abby’s pillow,” but seriously, she’s been making her own bed for almost a year now. Can I get an AMEN!
And another thing, I don’t pick out their clothes, or dress the girls in the morning. In fact, Lucy stopped letting me have an opinion on her style when she was three. Come to think of it, just this week she cut a pair of blue jeans into shorts up in her room. I honestly couldn’t be mad a her because they looked so cute.
These girls know how to take care of themselves.
Hear me when I say, this was done On. Purpose.
Sometimes the best way to help our kids is to not help them. They often become resourceful and responsible when we simply let them. We can do this by stepping back and being quiet. “Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World” By Kristin Welch
Welch lists seven potential problems with all of the “help” we give our children:
- Kids expect more of us, and less of themselves.
- A child-centered home puts a strain on your marriage.
- A child-centered home reinforces selfishness.
- When we don’t provide restrictions and guidelines, we are setting our kids up for future failure.
- A child-centered home narrows our child’s perspective of the world.
- A child-centered home inhibits awareness of others.
- A child-centered home perpetuates a lack of self control.
So, in our house, clothes and shoes remain within their reach. I even purchased a small kid sized hanging rack for their school uniforms. This keeps them separate from the other clothes in the closet, saving time and hassle on school mornings.
There has been a “kid’s kitchen drawer” for as long as I can remember – housing kid sized utensils, cups, and plates. They get their own breakfast and snacks. The microwave drawer has also been a lifesaver – Abby loves making her own dinosaur oatmeal in the mornings.
There is shampoo, conditioner and soap on the lower shelf in our shower. I start dinner each night as they shower and sing (usually together). We’ve been stuck on “The Greatest Showman lately, so Lucy belts out the lyrics to every song on the soundtrack.
Here’s the thing – in order for this to happen, I had to make a decision (it relates to my last blog post about being a “good enough” type of person): I would have to let go of control. I know – this is crazy talk!
But hear me out.
This has given our girls the opportunity to gain confidence in their abilities to care for themselves, and to make small (yet important) decisions on a daily basis. Cue the stripes with polka dots.
Lucy has figured out the whole matching thing, Abby, not so much. Sometimes she comes down the stairs in metaphorical stripes and polka dots, sometimes, she comes down the stairs literally wearing stripes with polka dots. When this occurs, I have a decision to make: I can squelch her creativity and independence, requiring that she go back upstairs and change, or, I can look at her with a smile and say, “Love your outfit Abs, you look beautiful!”
Friends, the message today is this: we have to care more about the maturity of our children’s minds and hearts than we do the sideways glances we may get walking into church.
So here’s to stripes with polka dots, lumps in the bed covers, and oatmeal remnants on the kitchen countertop. They’re only little once people, we have to make it count.