We had some friends over the other day, and Nathan (age 6) asked about having a snack. I asked him what kind of snack he was thinking about, and he decided that a peanut butter and jelly would do the trick. He got out the bread, grabbed the peanut butter, found the jelly in the fridge, and took a plastic knife from the drawer. He skillfully spread the peanut butter, gooped the jelly, mashed it together and went on his merry way; freshly crafted sandwich in hand.
My friend commented that her son (also age 6) wouldn’t have a clue how to make himself a sandwich. She does all of those types of tasks for him. It never really occurred to her to have him try it for himself.
And so began my wonderment about self-sufficiency and the value of knowing that I can take care of myself and that my kids deserve to know that they, too, can take of themselves perfectly.
The next day, I was reminded again to think about self-sufficiency and the “I can do it” spirit. A few weeks back, I took my car for an oil change at the Hales Corners
Fast Track. The oil-change guy told me that my cabin air filter needed to be replaced.
The part would be $60. He showed me the filter and I happily ignored his sales pitch. Then I started to I wondered if I could just do it myself.
I decided to see if YouTube could offer a little insight on this filter thing. Sure enough, a fuzzy 3-minute video showed a clip here, a clip there, filter out, done. So, I checked out the AutoZone website and learned that the $60 part that the Fast Track guy would graciously sell me, actually costs $18. Wow. Later that day, I picked up the part I needed and when I got home, I replaced my cabin air filter in about 3 minutes. Couldn’t have been easier and I was way proud of myself. I saved $42, and enjoyed the satisfaction of self-sufficiency in car repair. Go me!
It feels good to know that I can do things for myself. It also feels good to know that my journey toward self-sufficiency in recent years has had a positive influence on my kids. Nathan and Rylan get lots of opportunities to figure things out, do things for themselves, and celebrate the sense of “I can do it!”
Here’s the added bonus! The more I allow my kids to do things for themselves, the less I have to do for them leaving more time for fun stuff. Who couldn’t use more time for fun stuff?
Where can you empower your kids to be more self-sufficient? How about your own “I can do it” practice? You can do it! (Whatever “it” is).
Isn’t today a good day to give it a go?