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As parents, sometimes we turn a blind eye to our kids’ shortcomings. Or we kid ourselves by twisting their less desirable personality traits into something positive. “Lola is so stubborn, but that means she’ll always stick to her guns.” Or, “Matthew sure likes to argue; he’ll make a great lawyer someday.”
Sometimes, though, we need a reality check. We’re not doing our kids any favors by perpetuating bad behavior. Frankly, it’s our job to correct our kids when they act like little punks.
We could be ruining our kids by,
1. Not giving them enough chores.
From the time they’re toddling around, we can teach our kids how to clean up their toys. As they grow, their responsibilities can increase. Making the bed, feeding the pet, and setting the table when our kids are little can evolve into mowing the lawn, scouring the tub, and washing the windows.
Owning responsibilities teaches kids that they are part of a working household. In a family, everyone does their part. This concept carries over into life: as citizens we follow rules, take care of our environment and help one another. In the workplace, we each perform unique duties and answer to the person in charge.
Having chores helps children recognize authority, and gain character and a solid work ethic.
2. Making all their decisions.
My daughter often complains that I’m too strict. Many of her friends are given wide rein to choose their movies and skirt lengths while I like to have a say in those types of things.
While I’m not willing to bend on some issues, it hit me that I need to back off a bit. I need to allow my daughter to make more choices on the less important issues – ones unrelated to safety or modesty, for example. As a tween, she needs some room to figure things out on her own. She’ll make mistakes, but that’s fine because she will grow from those mistakes.
Kids need some autonomy. But it’s up to us to determine which choices to turn over to them.
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