I shared this article on Facebook the other day that said,
America’s college students are delicate, immature wusses who become traumatized, get the vapors and seek professional counseling any time they face adversity or — God forbid — earn a grade lower than a “B.” (Read more here.)
Helicopter parenting is creating a generation of big, fat, wusses. What are we doing that is making our kids such narcissistic pansies that they can’t do life?
I thought, as an only child raised by a single mother who worked as a nurse, I had no choice but to be a non-wussy. I got myself up in the morning. I made my breakfast. Walked to the bus stop. I rode the bus home. Walked home and fed myself. If I needed it, I did it.
When I was sick she sent me to school (even with chicken pox once. Not her shining moment of motherhood.) If I got cut she slapped a bandage on it, usually in the front yard, and sent me back out to play.
When I went to college it was a breeze. I was used to taking care of myself. Watching some of the other freshman waffle through their first steps in living on their own made me thankful I was a prepared non-wussy.
I am raising children in completely different circumstances than my mom did. I am a married mother raising six children, but I don’t want them to be wusses either. I want to send them out ready to tackle the world and not be tackled by it.
They must do laundry.
My kids do what they can. The 2 year-old can take clothes from the washer and put them in the dryer. My 4 year-old can collect her clothes, bring them down, load them into the washer or dryer with a few gentle reminders. My 7 year-old can do all that without being reminded. Kids age 10, 12 & 14 do all their own without me.
Kids can do it so let them. In my house when kids can, kids do.
Eat food they don’t like.
The truth is everything in life isn’t going to taste the way you like it, food or not. Sometimes they need to learn to swallow things that taste bad.
Cook dinner with you.
It’s not always about being fed but feeding others.
Take out the garbage.
Life is messy, dirty and stinky. If you don’t deal with it properly it will rot and attract flies.
Experience negative emotions.
Oh, I know we want to prevent our kids from hurting but please don’t. They must experience anger, disappointment, fear and sadness while we are near. We need to teach them to lean into their feelings and how to respond appropriately.
They must taste defeat. They must experience loss. They must be unhappy. They will not only survive, they will be stronger.
Bad teachers are good.
When I quit trying to hand-pick the perfect teachers for my kids I was liberated. My kids have had to suffer through some boring classes, do stupid assignments, accept unreasonable consequences and respect the unrespectable.
However, perseverance, long-suffering and grace are being forged in the fire of the student- bad teacher relationship.
Stop giving choices.
My first real job was as a waitress at the Gazebo Family Restaurant in Medina, Ohio. When my boss hired me she said you will wear black pants, a white shirt and an apron.
She didn’t say, “Well, Sweetie, if you don’t like those colors you can wear the red, pink, purple or stripped if you want to.”
Nope. She just said “Wear this.”
And I did.
The other day I hand a mental seizure watching a mother try to negotiate with a 6 year-old by offering barrage of different choices that the child was really incapable of understanding.
Let’s stop giving kids all that power. Remember, they are kids. Kids aren’t known for being too smart.
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him. Prov. 22:15
There is no quitting.
If you sign up for band or baseball you will finish the season. I don’t care how mean the coach is, how little you play or how terrible you are. You will finish what you started.
Stop doing their homework.
Those 4th grade science projects you are doing from your home office are making my kids look bad. But that’s ok, they did it by themselves and have the self-satisfaction of a job done well and independently.
Pay for stuff.
My teenager has been earning his own money since he was 12 from his job as a church janitor. When he wants something he doesn’t ask Mommy to buy it. He buys it.
He is learning discipline, the value of work, the value of a dollar and how to go without.
Understand some hurts are real.
Sometimes our children need validated. They need to know we hear their hearts and that we care. They aren’t just silly kids. They are people with real problems who need loved through them.
Sensible children bring joy to their father; foolish children despise their mother. Prov. 15:20