Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Please Learn From My Mistakes

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.

8 comments:

Becky said...

I do not know why I teared up reading this but did. Maybe that is because I that is my biggest thing with Kristen. I not only give time, which sometimes is a lot of, but also make her do as much as she can by herself. Oh, spoken from your momma heart...I can so see how easy it is to just do it. I love following your blog.

Becca said...

I catch myself so often, trying to jump the gun and do things for Samantha because they're easier or faster for me to do. I get so frustrated with myself for doing it, too. Ugh. It's so hard. Thank you for the warning - I'm listening... And I highly doubt it's too late for Beth. :-)

Jenny said...

This is such a great reminder for me...I often do this with all my kids, not just Russell. Things get done faster and easier and better, if I do them myself...But then my kids learn nothing...I need to take the time to allow them to learn, to do, things all on their own. And with Russell it takes extra time and effort and patience, but he needs that the most. I loved this. Thank you :)

Michelle said...

I teared up reading it too. Thank you. Thank you for your wise words and for sharing with us your lessons.

Wren said...

This was a great post and an awesome reminder! I find myself helping or doing for both of my boys way too often...the next time I go to help I'm going to remember this post and stop myself! I don't think it's too late for Beth we're never too old to start learning! :)

Kristin said...

Great post. I do this all the time with both my kiddos! Ugh :)

Melissa said...

So very true and so very hard sometimes! I think I get worried that others will judge her and so I want to help. It's hard, but you are right!!! Good challenge and thanks for reminding me that I am not alone! Other parents' struggles help me to see that when I feel lonely in this that I really am NOT the only one!

Laura said...

Hi Cindy! I read each and every one of your posts and so appreciate you sharing all your experience with us! I bookmarked this particular post as a reminder of how to parent my Ben! Thank you!