Good news, moms! The new school year is underway! The time that parents celebrate and kids dread. There are so many new things happening this time of year that many kids feel a bit overwhelmed. New teachers, new schools, new friends…it's a lot! But in my house, that's not all that's new! With each new school year comes a new level of responsibility for my kids.
"I'm one of the big kids, now!"
Starting a new grade is a big milestone for each child. He remembers the kids from last year who were in that grade. They seemed so big and grown up. Now, he's one of those big kids! That's pretty cool, huh? Well, part of being that big kid now means taking on more tasks at home.
When I work with parents I talk about how important it is to give kids age-appropriate everyday jobs. Responsibilities that grow with the kids so that by the time they are 16 years old, they are truly ready for the HUGE undertaking of driving a car and making the good choices necessary to be safe.
The Roots of Self-Esteem
Danger! One pitfall I see many parents fall into is not giving their kids enough responsibility. As a rule, we do too much for our kids. What does that communicate to them? Perhaps we're telling them with our actions that we don't think they are capable or that they should need us forever. When we give our kids responsibilities and trust them to do it – not always perfectly or even well, by the way, we empower them to learn and to feel proud of themselves for their accomplishments.
If we do everything for them, how will they ever learn what they are capable of doing for themselves? This is the root of self-esteem. Doing something - trying, trying, trying, conquering it and then feeling proud. Sometimes, just the trying feels good even if the end result is not accomplished. When we do too much for our kids, we rob them of many opportunities for growth and competency. Even the frustration of not accomplishing things is full of rich learning opportunities.
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