We were at the grocery store the other day buying a good amount of groceries. Usually Chuck and I will have a cart full and then Beth buys her own things like shampoo, laundry soap, toothpaste, etc.
She likes us to go first through the check out, then she goes second. When he was done with ours he started Beth's and he asked for our phone number so Beth could get the 'card member' discout. I gave him our number.
Beth: "Oh maaan!"
Me: I'm sorry Beth. I should have let you tell him, huh?"
Beth: "Uh, yea!"
It's just so easy to do it myself. It's fast and it's done. But that's not the goal. The goal is to let her learn. She recognizes that she needs to do it and she's starting to remind me. If she does it, whatever 'it' is, she'll learn, the person helping her (cashier, waiter) will learn, the people watching her do it will learn. Now only if I would learn.....
I realize now that we did way too much for Beth when she was growing up. We took the easy road. We didn't want anyone to get frustrated or for Beth to do it wrong. So we did it for her. I did it for her. I remember our other girls telling us to "let her do it!" but I didn't listen. I see now how damaging that was to Beth. She is so capable of doing so much more, and sometimes I think it's too late. 'She'll be 28 this year, we've missed the opportunity.'
But I know in my heart that's not true. So each day I'm having her do more and more and she's doing it! She's very capable and smart and wants to learn. Please learn from my mistakes and let your kids learn. Let them try. Allow them to make mistakes and then try again. Who cares if the people around are frustrated or having to help? That doesn't matter. What does matter is your children feeling a sense of accomplishment, knowing they tried and succeeded. Even if they had to try over and over. Let them do it themselves.
Let them learn.