Oct 27, 2008

I will survive..........

..........I did survive my weekend camping trip with my wee ones!  

The weather was perfect, the site was absolutely gorgeous and the company was enjoyable.  

This was the first time I let the girls sleep in tents sans an adult.  They were so excited to be given this first bit of camping independence.  They all felt like such big girls!  One of the things I love about camping with my troop is seeing how much they grow with each trip.  They are really starting to get the hang of what is expected of them when we camp.

We have a new girl in our troop this year and it warmed my heart when the veterans schooled her on the know hows of camping.  They are actually learning something!!!

There was something I saw this weekend that makes me want to pass on a little bit of unsolicited parenting advice.

Parents........do yourselves and your children a huge favor and teach them early how to do things for themselves.  Start small and give them age appropriate tasks that you know they can accomplish on their own.  Sometimes it takes a little longer to do things this way, but in the long run they will gain self confidence and you will beam with pride at how clever your child is.

I did this with my girls and I always assumed that other parents did it as well.  Let me tell you, it becomes very apparent which kids have parents that do everything for them when you have them on a camping trip without mom or dad in tow.  

It amazes me how helpless some of the girls can be when it comes to completing really simple tasks.  They are smart girls so the only explanation is that they haven't been allowed to do these simple tasks on their own.  

Becoming self sufficient doesn't just happen, it needs to be taught.  We all want to be needed by our children, but ultimately it is our job as parents to create children that grow up and don't need us.

So the assignment for parents who can't help but cut up the meat of their teenager......knock it off! It's never to late to teach your kids to be self sufficient.  Give them their own knife and show them what to do!

The assignment for parents with young children....find one small thing that you always do for your little boo and let them give it a try for themselves.  Trust me, you'll be happy you did!

So my friends, this concludes the first and probably last edition of Michelle's parenting 1o1 tips! Go forth and parent!

19 comments:

CrackerJacks said...

Such a nice weekend to share. I too have been helping my 2.5 year old become more self sufficient. There are some things I know she can do but always has Mom.Dad to fall back on. We are working on it.

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

K said...

The Gospel according to One Crafty Mama- cut the food for a child and she'll eat for a day; teach the child to cut her food and she'll eat for a lifetime! :-)

I'm willing to wager that the more needful girls do not come from, ahem, larger families... my kids will pick up their food and gnaw rather than wait their turn for me to get to them... (grin!)
Necessity is the mother of invention, right?- I have girls that figured out how to use the washer when I was getting their uniform clean on their schedule...

Glad you're back, Troop Leader!

Liz said...

Thanks for sharing - it sounds like you had a great weekend!!

It is hard sometimes to not do everything for our little ones - but you are so right - we need to let them do things on their own, and really learn to be strong independent little people!! I will definitely keep this in mind!!

Lorie said...

I am glad you survived!!

Jo-Jo said...

sometimes I am good at letting my kids try things on their own and sometimes, when it may be so messy that my OCD just can't take it, I don't. Great advice!

gingela5 said...

Sounds like you had a good time! I wish my MIL would have taught my husband a few things! hehe Or maybe she did and he conveniently forgot them! haha

Liz said...

I haven't tried out the twilight series yet - not sure if vampires are quite my thing either. I might check them out though - they are so popular there has to be something to them.

nikkicrumpet said...

GREAT ADVICE!! It is amazing how many parents don't let their kids realize their potential. You think you're doing them a favor..but in reality you're stunting their personal growth. My kids learned early on how to be very self sufficient...I think in some ways they thought I was just being lazy or that I was a really mean mom. But now they thank me all the time for teaching them how to fend for themselves...especially now that they HAVE TO! They are all independent strong kids...and are doing really well out on their own. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time. Working with the youth has so many rewards!!

heidi said...

Just love your blog...very inviting! Camping sounds like so much fun. It rained here in Virginia so I'm glad to hear that your weekend weather was better. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

WheresMyAngels said...

I bet that was so much fun. Years ago I got to help out at my sister girl scout camping trip. Although I was frustrated with one of the leaders because she refused to do dishes because of her nails. Course I was like 17 at the time.

RhondaLue said...

Great advice! I definitely like to foster independence with my kids. In fact, we have a kiddie cupboard so they can reach their own dishes so I'm not doing EVERYTHING. Thirsty? get-cher own darn drink!

Casey's trio said...

Thanks for the reminder to teach independence. I know in my case, there are many times when I do things just so we can get ready and out of the house! But I will take your advice...and go forth and parent:)

TattooedMinivanMom said...

I am totally with you!!!! Kids need to learn how to do things so they can take care of themselves later in life. It really builds their self esteem too when they do things themselves.

I didn't know you were a girl scout troop leader! Girl scouts ROCK!!!

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

Sounds like you and the girls had a great time! Great advice too, we have been trying to do that with our little guy along the way, but great to be reminded :) Sometimes it's easier and faster for us to do something for them, but maybe not the best for them:)

Ronnica said...

I was a Girl Scout from 2nd grade on, but we weren't really outdoorsy. We never went tent camping (though I have with the Boy Scouts).

angie said...

Excellent advice, Michelle. I'm always amazed how little some kids have to do for themselves. I try very hard to make sure my kids know how to do simple tasks around the house, and be able to take care of their own body.....:) Glad you had a good time!

Melissa said...

What a fun time...I love camping!! Oh, and I used to be one of those moms that did everything....because I needed to feel in control!! But figured out I had to let up in order for them to learn responsibility and accountability!!

Shanna said...

Your trip sounds like SO much fun but I have to be honest...I don't envy you AT ALL ;) I think I'd go nuts ... but then maybe not since they're older...I'm still thinking pre-school age haha

I totally agree with teaching kids to be self sufficient! My kids have no choice but to be - I make them do just about everything on their own that they are capable of.
It's amazing how little some of their friends are required to do for themselves...
Pat yourself on the back for a job (or two) well done ;)

LuckyMe said...

Good for you! Camping takes a lot of effort and sacrifice, but makes for some amazing memories and good life lessons (e.g. there is more to life than electronics!)

My son was doing his own laundry by the time he was 15 or 16. He asked a few too many times where this shirt or those pants were. He let a few too many pens and tissues go through the wash. So after a few warnings, I said "that's it! do your own wash." At first I was afraid of what he would look like leaving the house in dirty wrinkled clothes, but he did a great job and he realized it wasn't that hard but at the same time he appreciated the effort. Boy2 did the same thing. My youngest is not there yet but he does know how to mow the lawn, use the stove and throw a load in if he must.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...