“I’m tired of hearing my own name.”
My wife said that to me recently in an honest moment after a rash of hearing “Mom. Mom. Momma. Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mooooom!”
I laughed. Not at her, but because I’ve said it before too. We don’t really mean it, it’s just that sometimes…
If you’ve been a parent for more than five minutes you know what I’m talking about.
“Dad. Daddy! I need you! Hurry!”
“What? What is it? What’s wrong?”
“I sneezed. Can you get me a tissue?”
A tissue? That was the big emergency? You are six feet from the bathroom. You could have gotten 17 tissues in the time it took me to get in here, kid!
Don’t get me wrong; I want my kids to know they can always count on me. I want them to know I’ll always be there for them…that they’re not alone. I can’t stand the thought of any child, let alone my own, thinking no one is in their corner.
But I also want my kids to be independent. Responsible. Accountable.
And if I come running every time they need something as simple as a tissue, they won’t be.
You know, I did the same thing when I was a kid.
“Momma! Momma! Where are you?!”
And sometimes my mom would respond with “She left.”
That drove me nuts! But it was a good lesson. It meant “whatever it is, you can figure it out.” And I usually did.
It seems there are lots of young adults in our society today that don’t have the skills to “figure it out.” They’re out on their own for the first time. Life has handed them lemons, and they are looking for mom to make lemonade…but “she left.”
I love this from Reggie Joiner, founder and CEO of Orange: “You are not raising kids, you are raising adults.”
Think about that for a second.
It should change your perspective. It changed mine.
You see, when you’re a parent…sometimes you have to forgo what’s best in the moment for what’s best in the long run.
It’s hard though. I mean, it’s so tempting (and easy) sometimes to just take the path of least resistance.
Here’s an example…It’s time to leave. You’re trying hard to get everyone out the door…and even though the four year old has put his own shoes on 750 times before…this time…”I can’t do it! I don’t know how!”
So you just put them on him…so you don’t have to deal with it…path of least resistance. I do that. We all do that.
But should we? And how many times?
Every day? No.
Otherwise, one day he’s the guy that’s constantly late for work and can’t figure out why he never can keep a good job.
You know, our children have unprecedented advantages today…advantages that our parents never dreamed of. We’re all working hard to make that happen and we’re giving our kids amazing childhoods.
But we’ve got to focus more on raising adults. Independent, responsible, accountable adults. And it starts with letting them get their own tissue…cleaning up their own messes…being in charge of their own homework.
“Dad. Dad. Daddy…I did it myself!”
Now, I would never tire of hearing that…
I'd like to hear from you! Do you ever get tired of hearing your own name? How are you balancing doing things for your children and still teaching them responsibility? You can leave a comment by clicking here.