This week I was out of town for a couple of days (what worked out to be 3 mornings) and partly our of convenience, partly out of necessity, the boys took on the responsibility of making their own breakfast. Typically, the boys have relied on us to prepare their breakfast but this week, my youngest fixed his own cereal (milk and all) and my oldest prepared his own Eggo waffles. Independence in the mornings took a big leap.
I speak about this on the latest episode of The DaddyCast podcast (in editing right now) and specifically about how steps like these make me realize that the boys re maturing. These events also make me more aware of the need to let go and let them mature, to not be the helicopter parent and allow them to explore, try, fail, succeed and achieve. How will they ever learn if they don’t get the opportunity to do things on their own?
The pay back on this is immediate. Besides the freedom that them taking on responsibility provides (in this case, some extra minutes in the morning that are extremely valuable), the result on them is enormous. They are beside themselves with pride and accomplishment. Since starting this earlier this week they have continued to prepare their own breakfast, beating me to it this morning and beaming that they have once again provided for themselves.
So now I am looking at other areas that they can take on. Granted, some come with risks- even breakfast leaves open the risk of a sea of milk on the floor- but rewards can far outweigh some cleaning up. The main control at this point is simply their safety. No use crying over spilled milk.
More on the progress of their independence here and on the podcast. As my recent video post shows, they are not quite ready to shovel the driveway, but with a little training and guidance, we may not be too far off from yard work and other manual labor around the house. Pitching in will give them a sense of involvement and give me more time to take on other endeavors.