As parents we can find ourselves frustrated by the lack of speed our children have in getting tasks done. When we are tired of waiting or really need something done right now, we may find ourselves saying “Never mind, I’ll do it!” It often takes less time and energy to simply do it ourselves. However, when we jump in and do something our children should be doing, we are stealing the opportunity for them to increase their self discipline and sense of responsibility.
What do our children think when they hear us say “Never mind, I’ll do it”? Perhaps thoughts like:
- I can get out of doing work if I simply delay long enough.
- Dad is mad at me but at least I don’t have to do it.
- I’m kind of lazy.
Since there are no positive messages being sent in this situation, it’s something to avoid doing.
One dad described being so frustrated with his 5-year-old’s slowness in getting dressed that he finally took over and dressed his son. In his anger he scolded his son saying he was acting like a baby and shouldn’t need help getting dressed. What thoughts was this boy probably having about himself in this situation? What thoughts was he having about his dad?
Another approach this dad could have taken was to give his son the choice of getting dressed at home or taking his clothes in a bag and getting dressed at school. Allowing our children to accomplish their own tasks in their own way is a gift which will help them grow.