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Mister Independent (and His Momma)

Posted by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 31 Replies

My husband and I have differing opinions on how to raise an independent child.

(Mine, obviously, is the right one. So let me tell you about it.)

Although my day is currently revolving around a newborn, and therefore I have no set schedule (and it's only driving me slightly crazy), my husband and my five year old have a pretty defined morning routine. One of my parenting goals is to make this as smooth as possible while providing a chance for even a five year old to participate and be accountable for his own actions.

When he was three or so, he developed his father's love of toaster pastries. My trade-off in this unholy obsession was that, alright, I'll consent on that purchase AS LONG AS THEY ARE UNFROSTED. I have parenting standards, as you can see. (Truth: sometimes, they are frosted. I choose my battles.) At that point, I began putting his breakfast out the night before, in a plastic sandwich bag on a plate. I also made sure the TV was already set to our video streaming service that he uses to watch Curious George. He learned to understand that he had one Curious George in which to eat his breakfast, and then he was to get dressed.

While he was younger, I laid out his clothes the night before as well, explaning why I chose certain things. (Example: "Tomorrow is supposed to be very hot, so I chose shorts for you and a light-colored shirt. Shorts are cooler, and light-colored clothing help you not get hot outside.") After Curious George ended, he knew he was to take his plate and cup to the kitchen and then go get dressed.

As he's gotten older, he chooses his own clothes now, and we've added other chores to his list. (He makes his bed and cleans his room before he leaves.)

Now, where my husband disagrees is that the believes that the child is too slow to do this stuff. He lollygags while picking out clothes or making his bed eats up too much time.

CLEARLY I AM IN THE RIGHT HERE. Who can argue in opposition to the child making his bed?

Legal Disclaimer: My husband is truly an awesome father who tends to balance out my ... obsessive compulsions, so while I may CLEARLY BE IN THE RIGHT HERE, he (many times!) has been in the right when I've been slightly manic about things that are not important in the grand scheme of things. Also, he's hot. And MIGHT be looking over my shoulder. Right.This.Second.

Are your kids independent in their morning routines? Why or why not?

by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Member on Jul. 8, 2013 at 1:00 AM

we are trying to set a good morning routine recently. but up until this point I have been pretty lax

by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 9:20 AM

My kids are sometimes independent, but it helps if I leave them a checklist, because they tend to meander.  Also, I have learned that if I want the chores to be done, no tech time till after things are accomplished.

by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I have a 6 year old and a 20 month old. My 6 year old is ASD and he is somewhat independent, I have to keep reminding him to stay on task because he gets distracted very easily! My 20 month old isn't too independent yet but he trys to be :). He sees his big bubba doing things so he wants to try as well. It's cute.

by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 12:33 PM

My 6 yo is independent - other than dad or I get his breakfast for him (often involving toaster waffles).

My 4.5 yo could be independent, I need to force the issue more since its summer & we have time to waste.

by Member on Jul. 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM
Yes, he's becoming more and more independent
by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

My dd's morning routine han't really changed in the last 6 years or so. She gets dressed before she even comes down stairs, she picks out her own clothes, Now she fixes her own breakfast, brushes hair and teeth and out the door to either school or summer camp.

by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

 My oldest 2 are independent. I still make all their breakfast for the most part but they dress, make their beds and pour their own drinks.

by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 1:59 PM

HA I have to practically dress them myself 

by Member on Jul. 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

no morning routine here, she's only 13 months old. 

by Member on Jul. 8, 2013 at 2:23 PM

My daughter is very independent. She's 10. My son on the other hand needs help with brushing his teeth, but he does clothe himself. He's 5.

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