I'm a micromanager. I like things a specific way and I'm more than happy to do all the work to make sure things turn out exactly to my liking. This is all fine and dandy, until I starting realizing I'm handicapping my children. They forget to put their lunches in their back packs. They forget to out their back packs in the car. They make it all the way to school before the realize they don't have shoes on (yes, this has REALLY happened ... More than once).
The thing is, it's not their fault. I do way too much for them. I'm not training them to take care of themselves. I get so caught up with things being "my way" that I forget I have a responsibility to teach my kids how to be self-sufficient.
Last week Cooper had to do a project for the 100th Day of School. I had come up with all sorts of cool (read: complicated) ideas on what he could do. But when it came time to do the project, he had no interest in my ideas. I tried to persuade him (come on buddy, don't you want glue 100 beans to the heart-shaped piece of cardboard so I can rainbow spray paint it?!). He didn't budge. He had a much simpler idea and he was determined to go with his plan.
I caved (this doesn't happen very often) and he happily stuck 100 pieces of washi tape to a raggedy piece of cardboard. He smiled the whole time and was beyond proud of his work. What he didn't realize was with each piece of tape he taught me a much needed lesson: as a parent I have to let go and let my kids do things on their own. The end result might not be the pretty project I envisioned in my head, but a sense of self sufficiency and pride, both of which are more important than pretty, perfect projects.
I've set a personal goal: less pretty and perfect and more independent thinking and personal responsibility. When it comes to the kid, my husband is super good at this. Me? Not so much. So when I feel the urge to do something for them or to push my ideas on them I'm going to respect in my head: let them do it themselves.