Friday, July 30, 2010

Family Traditions ... Revisited

Last week I shared some of the parental sayings we us around our house, and some we may have heard growing up.

And, thank you to everyone who shared your family favorites.

Well, this past week I added one more to my list:

"Life is not this hard."

First, the kids were whining, because I wouldn't let them watch TV.

Studies say children should not watch more then 2 hours of TV/computer/video games. Yes, at one point this week, I quoted the above to the children.

Then, JT was whining about the lack of snack options (or that I wouldn't allow him to pull out the reserves, saved for vacation, from the pantry.) So, he began to open, and stare in, all the cupboards, the fridge, digging through the baking cupboard.

It is a snack. You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit.

A new phrase was born: "Life is not this hard."

I used this phrase again, the next day, when they were whining about being bored, no toys, blah, blah, blah.

(OK, my kids are sounding really whinny. Sorry about that.)

Then I said it. I said that phrase, we as children, hated hearing. The phrase, as parents, we tell ourselves we will never use:

"There are children in this world without toys!"


Yes, we are coming to the end of summer vacation. One more month, which includes a much needed vacation, for everyone.

The new statement also got me thinking, am I making life too difficult?

If JT wants to dig through the baking cupboard, and bake something, shouldn't I allow him? And, before leaving the kitchen (for the sake of my blood pressure) inform him that any mess will be HIS to clean up.

I should note that he didn't want to bake anything. He wanted to make a chocolate smoothie. I should have sent him to the computer to find a chocolate smoothie recipe. Oh wait, he had completed his 2 hours of media time.

Where is the line? When do I let the kids go, let them bake, or let them ride their bike around the neighborhood. Essentially, give them more freedoms, for their development maturity, and for my sanity.

Parents of older children, please pass along your wisdom to the rest of us. My children are no longer toddlers and preschoolers. They need more responsibilities and room to move, I need my sanity, will I find it by giving them more freedom?

And, after leaving a comment, head over to Home Sanctuary for more Company Girl Coffee.


One More Equals Four said...

I understand where you are coming from. I get so worried about leaving mine in the kitchen and then I think, when I was their age, I packed my own lunches, baked cookies and held "cooking shows" on a regular basis! We are definitely getting that end of summer feel around here...with me screaming NO MORE TV and them replying, "but there is nothing to do" I frequently offer to let them do schoolwork! I say...let 'em make the smoothie, who knows, maybe they'll make an extra for you!

Jhona O. said...

We are so at this stage right now. I am trying really hard not to hover all the time. I was making lunch and dinner for my dad and brothers at my oldest son's age. They are capable. I have been trying to guide a little and let them learn a lot. They ENJOY doing all sorts of things and I want them to find what they are good at so I'm trying not to squash their ideas and growing spirits! I am looking forward to seeing what others have to post. Great blog!

Carol said...

I am the mother of a 14 year old and an 8 year old. My girls have been helping me in the kitchen since they were two or three. At 10, the oldest started to occasionally cook a simple meal with my supervision. I think it depends on the individual child. I don't know if I helped very much, but that's what I have done.

Josie said...

A little late, I'm just stopping by from Home Sanctuary... My kids are 13 & 10, so I feel your pain. It is hard to give up control and let them have more independence. I find it rewarding though, when I do give them more independence and they thrive on it! As far as media time goes, my kids start with a base of one or two hours (depending on attitude) and if they really want more they can have as many minutes as they read. Once my son read 2 extra hours so he could watch a movie, but that doesn't happen often. Good luck finding a balance!

Jenilee said...

it is hard to decide when they can help, when they can't and when they should do it on their own. my girls always want to help but it takes so much longer and the mess is always bigger but I have to keep reminding myself that it is worth it and they are learning. hard to do though!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

NOt sure this was the right link on Tiny Talk? But here I am :)

This is a tough one. I try to say Yes more than I say No...but we have to have limits as well.

I give more freedom than the average mom for the freerangekids blog - she has helped learn to give freedoms and let kids grow! I have enjoyed that and she now has a book.

My 7 year old makes her own smoothies, and puts the blender in the sink when done and trash away. She loves to serve her siblings some!

Both the 7 and 5 year old ride bikes outside on the sidewalk without me - just within a few houses. If I am out there, they can go farther.

(I live on a quiet culdesac)

You know your kids and your area and your house. Prayer. Prayer. Prayer.

When you feel them "pushing" for something...that is when I pause to see what I can give.