Hey Sister Queens,
Today I wanna talk, hopefully BRIEFLY, about independence in kids.
When I sent my help away last October, the buzz word that was flying around my head per parenting was RESPONSIBILITY. I wanted my kids to be more responsible, and assume responsibility for both their personal stuff, and domestic stuff.
One day, I sat down and wrote out my VISION when it comes to parenting, and I came up with this acronym of four letters
I wanted to raise GRIC kids meaning
Godly, which covers more than kids that love Jesus. It also includes healthy kids
These were the top 4 qualities I wanted to focus on in this season of my parenting.
I didn’t want a middle man, or stranger in my home. I wanted to do it directly and see the impact ‘koro koro’, so I know how to adjust as needed.
Having a pure nuclear family was going to help me achieve my goal faster, and even if it meant more domestic work for me, I didn’t mind at all. I just got people to clean my home every 2 weeks, while I maintained it up from there.
I also took my time after a couple of weeks to review where I was based on the parameters I had set, see goals I had crushed and set new ones.
See a picture of my first 6week review
Honestly, I am so proud of all the progress my kids have made, and continue to make, and I can see it all clearly because there is no middle man. I am quick to pick out any issues and fix quickly.
Let me zone in on responsible and independent of the 4.
I believe that many moms of young kids struggle in this area, so end up WASTING time and energy doing MORE than they should do for, and with their kids, and then have no time and energy to do other things.
Time and Energy
Two things we complain of not having enough of, and yet we need if we are going to THRIVE in every season as a mom, especially.
“She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.”PROV 31:16 AMPC
You see that this woman saves TIME and STRENGTH based on intentional actions she has taken, and then she INVESTS that time and STRENGTH saved into other fruitful activities.
And it starts from the little things, and we build up from there.
My kids, at that time, were 5 and the second had just turned 3. I admit that I have pushed the 3 year old a little harder because I made him do almost the same as his brother, but his brother was there to guide and help.
For example, I made them start washing their pants and little boxers. It started with me rubbing the soap all over and then rinsing again when they are done, and now, they do it all themselves. All I need to do is spread it, which will stop once I buy a pant peg and hang it within their reach.
I made them start bathing themselves. At first, I would stay there and do the guide, but now, my husband only baths them when we are in a hurry on school mornings. Otherwise, 70% if not more, they bathe themselves.
They clean out their shoe rack themselves and arrange it.
They bring out their stuff for school the night before
They are responsible for keeping everything in its place when they are back from school and they know that the FLOOR is not a place for ANYTHING.
In the past, my help would pick up after them as they would throw everything everywhere, but now?
Bag to the room.
Cloths to the laundry basket, and pant to the sink for washing
Lunch box to the kitchen, and it has to be emptied and dropped in the right places,
Face shield to mommy’s table
And NOTHING on the FLOOR
I love this, even though it was hard and involved plenty talk at first 😭😭
They clean up their toys after themselves, and know how to basic-arrange the house.
They feed themselves 60-70% of the time, and my recent goal, thanks to the CHORE and REWARD chart system I just started, is to get that to 100% within 6 weeks at most!!!
KingDaveed can wash his plate and ElJohn can try. In fact as I type this now, dude is washing his plate.
KingDaveed now wipes his own bum and sometimes wipes his brother’s bum. This used to be a major time waster for me as they poop like 100 times a day, so ‘Mommy I am done pooping’ used to be an anthem here, and you need to see hubby and I dodging it. Now, we are freer lol.
And many more
They are even trained to put off lights and fans when they leave a room.
My kids are more independent than I even thought, and I am so thankful for all that progress
And the best part is that as they get more responsible and independent, it doesn’t just save me time, it helps them build the C part of GRIC.
They are more CONFIDENT.
They are so proud when they do things themselves, especially when I make them realize that BIG BOYS do X and don’t let others do it for them.
I recall I had to get their teachers to talk about feeding themselves at school so I could buttress that at home and it worked.
Gosh, kids are so amazing. They give you a quick ROI, that so return on investment.
Moms, let’s stop doing it all please, while our kids watch cartoons all day.
Read books and browse online. There are many age-appropriate chores your kids can do, and there are fun ways to introduce them.
I am currently reading “SMART MONEY SMART KIDS”, by Rachel Cruze and her Dad, Dave Ramsey, the finance guru.
Gosh, that book is WILD and I have just recently introduced the CHORE and REWARD chart and a game plan to teach them about money, first the making of it, then the saving, spending and giving of it.
So we are about to start trading in this home, and they will make their own money for some small small things. The book gives very practical ideas and tips and I am adopting and adapting to suit our own Naija clime.
I just started and I am willing to keep tweaking so I move from this my laughable imperfection, to genius stuff. Good thing is they are so young and even they don’t know what perfection looks like anyways, so we can make the mistakes and grow together. It is a learning curve for us all, but learn we will.
I am so excited for this new and next financial level!!!
Plus I am also applying more of what I learned to our domestic finances, and one of the first things I am adopting is more cash than debit/online spending, as that just makes you spend more. I will have a SPEND ONLY debit card, and section all my bills into parts, and when that part is done, it is done. E.g., I have 10,000naira for personal care like my hair and nails. Once that is done for the month, I don’t take from anywhere else to do that.
So I won’t just be teaching my kids, I will be training myself too at a next level.
Love love love
The goal of this post is INTENTIONAL parenting, really. Don’t just leave it to chance and cartoons. Victories don’t come by chance.
What do you wanna achieve as a mom? Wife? Woman?
Sit down and have a plan. Read and get resources and then implement. You won’t start perfect, but practice makes better. And be sure to show GRACE both to your kids and yourself through the process and not be a RULES only mom.
Remember, too much grace is enabling, and too much rules are legalistic.
Find and strike that beautiful balance, unique to you, your home, your husband and your kids.
God bless you and crown your effort with success.
To your WINNING right at home,