The Road To Independence: It's Easier To Help Him, But He Knows HowChristine Coppa
My son is five and as much as I love, love, love him, there are things I refuse to do for him, because I know he can do them on his own. Trust me, it is easier and quicker for me to just do these things, but in the end, I hope to raise a responsible guy who is able to figure stuff out without … mommy.
Sneakers: JD currently has two pairs of Velcro sneakers and two pairs of shoelace sneakers in rotation. He knows which feet they go on and can fully maneuver the Velcro straps. As for the shoelaces: Once he gets his sneakers on the right feet, I go over the tying process with him. We’re getting there.
Socks: I only buy socks that have different colors on the heel and toe area. This makes it easy for JD to slip them on without help from me. Sure, sometimes I say, “The long gray part goes by your toes,” but other than that he’s good.
Eating: I’m frustrated even writing this, but JD is still a table wanderer—not to be confused with a picky eater. The kid ate baked chicken with roasted red peppers, two helpings of steamed broccoli and two bowls of Spanish yellow rice last night, but the whole eating process took over an hour. I refuse to feed him so I just kept telling him to … take a scoop, blow on your food if it’s hot. If he needs to get up and “take a break” (Oy!) I just go with the flow and let him. Sometimes I let him eat whatever he wants for dinner, too. I count Pringles as a veggie. (Truth: I still get the urge to spoon-feed JD and hurry the process up!)
Showering: JD is only five so I don’t leave him unattended in the shower or bath, but he knows how to wash his body with soap (and that soap stings the eyes!). He can also scrub his hair. I still help him rinse his hair out, but other than that he bathes himself like a big boy. This comes in handy when he has babysitters, because he can take care of his own business. Long cry from the days of bathing my baby in the kitchen sink. Sniffle.
Pet care: Aunt Jemma bought JD a fish for his 5th birthday. It’s JD’s responsibility to feed Leo. JD has a love/I-don’t-care-about-you relationship with Leo … and tis true, I am partly to blame for Leo’s brush with death (you must read), but everyday, JD crumbles up a smelly, maroon-colored flake and feeds HIS pet.
Something I still do? Hold hands when we’re in big, crowded public places and never let JD out of my sight. Not a helicopter mom—an involved one. Read about Stranger Danger here.
So, tell me about the things you can do in a mommy-minute flash, but make your kid do, because they can.
Disclosure: I am not paid in any way to name brands in this blog. And yes, my family is horrified by this blog. They know I don’t cook well as is.