Encouraging Words

Letting Go, Freedom from the Apron Strings

My kids are 11 and 9 this year. This year I have been attempting to let go. I am not a helicopter mom. My kids have a lot of free time in the afternoons if all their school work is done. What I have to let go of is work. Giving them a task and letting them do that task without me hovering over them. Okay so I am a part-time helicopter mom; let’s just move on. For our family I have found that as I was micromanaging a task the more the kids were not getting it done. I was giving them minute details that were just frustrating to carry out, especially for my son. Giving a task with a broader scope has helped in the completion of the task. Now the task may not be done to the standard but that is okay. For my son I give him one more detail to work on to complete the task. I then remind him of that detail the next time he has to do the chore. In other words we build our broad foundation first then build the details on that foundation. I have been asked, “Doesn’t that take a long time to teach?” Yes, it does but I do not think it takes any longer then trying to make it perfect the first time and every time. The only difference is that I notice myself being frustrated less often and thus yelling less often.

This is also giving me more freedom to do my own chores in the house. The house can be clean, top to bottom, in one hour (two if we all have to pick up our rooms). Side trip: my style of clean is not perfection. I am comfortable clean. Dusting is not included in that one hour and nether is washing floors. Also I have a one story house. So please do not compare my cleaning efforts to yours. Each house will look different. Back on the main road: we talk about the kids getting freedom from the apron strings but really it is two of you who benefit. Parents free yourselves! Little by little, bit by bit, you can do it.

May God give you patience and grace. Keep on trail blazing.

PS I do understand that you may be a parent with a child that is limited in their abilities. Don’t give up and give them the most simple of tasks. It may just be folding the towels. Then teaching them to wash and dry the towels. And towels may be the only thing they are able to do for the family but that is a great thing. I have worked with teens and adults with disabilities who are proud of their chores and a job well done.


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