I have to say that most of what people shared wasn't new to me. Truth is, most of us pretty much know what "things" we should do. But sometimes we just need to hear it again, through another person's perspective--in their words, for it to really set in.
This conversation was that for me. I've been putting things in place for my children to be responsible and to contribute to our home, to contribute and participate in the good of our community. But there is definitely a bit of control I've still had. I mean, at the end of things, I want things done a certain way, during a certain time, with a certain amount of speed....(you get the picture!).
Well, since that time this summer, I've been actively working to equip my children with the skills needed to be pretty good at what I'll be asking them to do this school year. I'm also letting go of a lot of the control I've had. Little steps, little steps (smile)! But I've got to start somewhere, right? I don't want to end up with nearly grown people who don't know how to take care of themselves all because I had to have it done a certain way.
As I've previously shared, we've taken most of the summer months to learn how to do a good job completing the chores around the house. Each of my children started with a specific list of things they learned how to do thoroughly. After they could do it without any help, they then become responsible for teaching their siblings how to complete the job. Yes, there were several days that I felt like I was going to LOSE MY MIND!!!! But, I kept remembering Sister Knight's words about mothers needing to let their children figure things out and do for themselves. How giving them that space grows them and relieves the pressure and stress so many mothers carry around. I'm proud to say that all this teaching and learning time has not only benefited them but me as well.
That being said, I decided this morning that instead of doing all this meal planning and cooking myself, I should now involve my children. I told each of the children that after breakfast I wanted to meet with them so we could plan our meals for next week. Each of them perked up with excitement. (They are really liking this 'conferencing' that we've been doing and so I'm going to use it. By making appointments with each of them, they seem more willing to wait their turn.)
Two things about this that stood out to me:
1. Each of my children came up with good ideas and took ownership of thinking through how each meal should compliment the next (we don't need to have the same foods all day long).
2. My level of 'stress' associated with coming up with meals is gone!!!
By simply equipping my children to do it, it got done. Meals are planned! Whoopie!!!
I am hopeful that I am growing and making room for each of them to develop and practice new skills so that they can become the kinds of people I want to see in the world (kind, compassionate, responsible, trustworthy, respectful, passionate, generous, honest, considerate, spiritual, thoughtful, hard working, creative, etc., etc., etc.)
Are there ways in which you need to stretch yourself outside your parenting comfort zone? What specific thing or things are you doing to raise your children to be the kinds of people you'd like our world to be filled with? Please share a comment below! If you've already blogged about this topic, please a link. I'd love to hear what other like-minded mothers are and have been doing. Thank you.
Happy Home Learning!