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FAMILY mommy & daddy

Dear Mom,

Stop Peeling the Bananas

Dear Mom, One of the first words most of us encourage our kids to say is, “Mom.” Fast forward a few years when you are hearing that three-letter word repeated ad nauseum and you suddenly begin to wonder why you ever taught them to say that. Sometimes what follows is a random story, thought or observation, but oftentimes it is a request to tie shoes, get a snack, go to the bathroom, push the swing, play catch, blow bubbles, peel a banana, draw a picture, sing a song or comfort a hurt. And sometimes all those requests come in about two-minutes time. As parents, we are tasked with making our jobs obsolete. To raise thriving adults, we must teach them to tie their own shoes, get their own snacks, wipe their own bottoms, do their own dishes and wash the laundry. Of course it takes about 18 years (or longer) for all of those lessons to take. But the thing about kids is that they are often more capable than we realize and we only learn this when we become hands off. For instance, just the other day my six-year-old complained that she wanted to ride her bike, but she couldn’t because the training wheels weren’t on and she wasn’t confident enough to ride without them. This wasn’t the first time she had made the request, but busyness has prevented us from teaching her to ride without them or from putting the wheels back on so she could ride her bike in the meantime. Her eight-year-old brother heard the conversation. He went into the garage and located the training wheels. He looked at her bike, figured out where the wheels belonged, grabbed a tool and went to work attaching the wheels. I stood back and watched the scene. Here was a kid who just a day earlier had asked me to peel a banana for him. And you know what? I did it. I took the banana and pulled back the peel because it was easier. Could he have managed? Yes. But might he have gotten frustrated if the banana did not peel smoothly? Trust me when I say, “Yes, he would have.” So, what did I do? I rescued him. 28

THE

FAMILY MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2015

By: Meagan Church

“In letting go that confidence is built, independence is realized and our job description changes.”

FAMILY Magazine September 2015  
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