Readers! This gem of an essay was found on page 4 of a newsletter from the Brookwood Elementary in Leawood, KS. Kudos to the anonymous author! – L.
Are You Stealing from Your Children? by Anonymous
I watched the other day as a parent came into the building with her (very capable) child. As the child stood idly by, mom carefully put everything in his locker neatly, reminding him that he had his lunch on top there, easily retrievable, and hanging up his coat for him as well.
The child, looking bored, leaned up against the lockers as his mom loosened his boots, took them off, put them in the locker, and tied on the school shoes. Mom then took the gloves and coat off, reminding the child that the gloves were now carefully placed in the pockets, and stored them in he locker. XOXOXO, and he’s off to… you might think Kindergarten but no — several grades up! Even Kindergarten would be a stretch at this point in the year.
When children have no need to do things for themselves, what do you think will happen over time? When children know their parents will do everything for them, what message did the parent send? And when their peers see this happening, do they see the child as independent and a “can do,” capable person? They may see incapable, they may see lazy, or they may think that the parent is being fooled.
What I see is a parent stealing an opportunity from a child – an opportunity for an independent, shared relationship going forward. If you are doing something for your child that s/he could do for himself (and it’s not “just this one time”), give that some thought…who really needs to have that done, the child or you?