© 2018 by Ann Kaplan

  • Ann Kaplan

Helpless or Helpful? Teaching Kids Self-sufficiency


"Mommy, I'm thirsty..."

"Mommy, I'm cold..."

"Mommy, I pooped..."


Does this sound like a transcript of a typical day in your life? The unspoken second half of each of those sentences is, "...and I want you to take care of it."


If you are hearing this kind of thing 24-7, you are probably SOOOO sick of it and are probably thinking, "So get a glass of water, put on a sweater and wipe your own a$$, for the love of everything holy!!!"


This dynamic happens all the time, but in my opinion, it's never worse than during the summer. 3 uninterrupted months of mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy...


How did we get here? Well, I hate to say it, but as a parent coach I know it's true: We brought this on ourselves by teaching our kids to depend and rely on us for things they really don't need us to do. If you're being asked to do something that your kid can definitely do him/herself, it's because you have done it for them countless times in the past and created the expectation that you'll do it again. This isn't because we're gluttons for punishment or totally idiotic parents; it's simply because our kids grow into new abilities faster than we grow our expectations of them.


The solution? Set yourself up for a more peaceful vibe this summer (and all the time!) by teaching your kids to handle their own problems whenever they can NOW, before the endless neediness of summer descends upon you. I'm working on something really special to create the best summer with your kids, so stay tuned for that; but in the meantime start experimenting with sitting back and letting your kids solve their challenges in their own ways; create new expectations and beliefs for yourself and them! I'll be talking about self-sufficiency all week in the Mom-Me Experience group; tune in and get some ideas on how to execute this stuff!

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