Here’s the Tea, Mamas
I recently scrolled across an article, by Brooke Hampton (a fellow mommy blogger), on the subject of being a lazy parent. Immediately, at first glance of the title, I became defensive at the idea of someone thinking I don’t already do enough for my lovable little time snatchers. This article better not even hint at the idea, or I might just lose it with my computer screen, I told self. To my surprise, everything this article touched upon left me in a 180 degree wonderment on just how lazy I could be. Unlike helicopter or lawn mower parents, “lazy” parents empower their kids to become independent doers, way before college and the real world starts knocking on the door. How? You might want to get out a pencil and some paper for this part. Even the notes feature on your iPhone will suffice. Personally, I still prefer the touch of paper and fancy writing tools, but I digress. Parents don’t usually think to entrust their toddlers with the dishes or their tweens with managing a household budget. So, are they expected to acquire life skills outside of the home when life has no plan to slow down and give them a one-on-one tutoring session? It’s more idealistic to prepare your children for life after childhood with you as their teacher, right? Yes, your toddler is not equipped to handle your favorite William Sonoma dishes that you found for a steal during that holiday sale…trust me, that stresses me out for the both of us. But, why not let him rinse, clean, and dry your fancy treasures with your guidance. Does it take longer? Yes. Does it feel unnecessary in the moment. Yes, again. Your 30 minute dishwashing session just became an hour-long ordeal with an added clean up of the mess your toddler is wearing. However, you are adding life treasures to his piggybank.
I get it. The more responsibility we release to our kids, may feel like we are being “lazy” parents. We get into a grind of thinking we should and must do everything. This mindset allows us to manage our tight schedules with little room for lateness. But, don’t we want our kids to learn for themselves both inside and outside the classroom? I consider the home-front to be the first place of development and risk taking. While my son learned to talk through our interactions at home, he also learned how to crawl/jump out of his crib. In my home I’m creating, I want my kids to have personal integrity, workplace literacy, civic awareness, and (of course) academic proficiency. Building confidence in kids is key, along with caring parents who have high expectations for their little humans to grow into good people. We all have different parenting approaches and that’s one of the beauties about having your own kids; you get to choose how much therapy they end up needing. In a world that is constantly judging and criticizing people of all ages, any approach that empowers your kid to feel like the s***, is one worth noting.
P.S. This is me working harder on being a lazy parent. My kids asked to ride their bikes through the neighborhood, so I followed along to observe their readiness (mine included).