Independent...... Why is it so hard to let our little people be independent? For some, it may be the pure fact that we are control freaks or for some maybe it's that we just don't want them to grow up. Whatever it is, we have to let them have some independence at some point.
Malachi makes his own waffle in the toaster, no big deal. He puts his own corn dog in the microwave, no big deal. However, when he asked if he could get a cup and pour his own chocolate milk, I had a mild panic attack. I immediately said no and he replied, mommy, I can do it. I of course was thinking, no you can't, your too little, you will spill it. And then I realized, my kids are never going to learn how to do anything because I won't let them. I finally said ok, get you a cup and get some milk but take it to the table so it will be lower and easier to pour. I just couldn't let go of the fact that he might spill it the first time he tried pouring it on his own. I couldn't let go of the fact that I might have to get up and help clean up.
I watched his every move. He picked the biggest glass we had, got the milk out of the fridge, walked over to the table and proceeded to pour. He tilted the jug and the milk came rushing out. I yelled, ok that's enough! He looked at me with a big smile on his face and said see mom, I told you I could do it and he did. Not one drop of milk was spilled. And even if he did spill it, would that be the end of the world? Of course not. He was trying something new on his own. He didn't fail at pouring his milk, but the next time he tries something new on his own he may fail and that's ok. That's how they learn. That's how we learn. We try something new and we fail. We try it again until we get it right.
Lawson wanted to put jelly on his own biscuit. Like literally got the spoon and the jelly and asked me to open it. I kept saying, no mommy will do it, but he was so adamant about doing it himself, so I let him. I cut the biscuit open for him and let him get his jelly. Yes, I helped guide him a little but for the most part he did it all by himself and boy was he proud too. What was I afraid of? Him getting sticky and getting the counter all messy. Oh my, end of the world scenario.
I know there are certain things that they will want to do on their own that simply isn't going to happen because in fact, they are too little. But when it comes down to it, there is so much more that we can let them do. We learn through our mistakes so why not let them.
This is so much easier for me to type than actually do but it is something I want to really work on this year. I don't want them to adapt a mindset that they can't do anything and constantly rely on someone else to do it for them. I want them to learn that they are going to make mistakes and that everything they attempt may not pan out the first time. But that is no reason to give up, you gotta keep trying. I want them to learn to be independent. They'll still need me, I've just gotta learn to loosen up that leash a little.