Humble Parenting Lesson {one of many}

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Life is so humbling sometimes. And such a good teacher too. As many of you know, Kate is getting an encore presentation of kindergarten this year.  As such, she is doing all the same projects she did in kindergarten last year.  At the beginning of the year, last year Kate had to make a "me" doll and an "all about me" poster.  Her teacher strongly encouraged these to be family projects with lots of help from Mom and Dad.  I took that as a sign to get involved.  Usually, I do not get involved at all with the boys' school work. I am big believer in letting them do it themselves.

Anyway, I probably did WAY too much of Kate's beginning of the year projects last year.  You can look at them here  (and you can tell I did a lot of the work). Sure, she did some cutting and painting but I assembled them to make sure they looked pretty.  BIG MISTAKE!

This weekend Kate was supposed to make her "me" doll for this year's classroom.  She started drawing on it the other day when I was cooking dinner and I told her to wait until I could help her.  She looked at me with complete innocence and said, "Mama, this year can I make my me doll?" GULP. Shame. Guilt. Embarrassment. Lesson learned.

I am constantly advising my clients and friends to let their kids make their own mistakes.  I am constantly coaching my clients to do less and less for their kids so their kids are more self reliant.  I am appalled when I read articles stating that over 43% of parents admit to having done their kids homework.  I have always excluded myself from that statistic as I never have done the boys' homework.  Yet, I did it too.  I sold my child short.

When we do these things for our kids we are sending them a very strong message that we don't think they are capable.  We don't think they can do the work themselves.  We are also telling them they are not good enough.  These are all very damaging messages to send to our kids.

Parents think they are helping but really they are hurting their kids by doing so much for them.

Truth is...last year I probably did not have the confidence that Kate would finish these projects. She was exhausted from all day kindergarten.  She struggles with multi-step projects. But I should have at least let her try. I should have given her the benefit of the doubt. I should have shown her that I believed in her.  I am not saying that I did any long term --gonna be telling a therapist some day that I did her "me" doll--kinda damage.

Anyway, Kate did her me doll 99% by herself this year.  I had to hot glue the hair because my gun is old and gets super hot (and I burned myself).  She was so creative though.  She made a bow out of a tissue. Apparently, she saw Minnie Mouse do this on TV and gave it a try.  She made a necklace with paper beads.  I have no clue how she did it but Harry taught her a while ago. She even wanted to put her monogram on the dress. That had been my idea last year but this year it was hers:)

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It was so wonderful to see Kate proudly hand the "me" doll that she did on her own to her teacher this morning.  We both learned a lot from this assignment.  Maybe I needed the encore presentation of kindergarten just as much as she did.  

P.S.  Kate lost her second tooth last night (you can see in the photo above) and that darned tooth fairy forgot to show up last night.  Anyone else ever have that happen?  Sure hope she remembers tonight.

And another P.S.  If you missed the blog radio show last night you can listen to the archive here.  We talked about this very issue last night:


Listen to internet radio with The Pearl on Blog Talk Radio

20 comments:

  1. Just like kids have to learn from mistakes, so do parents...right?

    Her doll is adorable!

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  2. I did WAY TOO MUCH of helping with my children's school work...WAY TOO MUCH! Good for you to take a step back! What a DOLL Kate is!!!

    Loved the radio show last night! You are such a great speaker!

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    1. I am trying. Thank you so much for the positive feedback and your support. It really means a lot to me.

      Kim

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  3. Awwww. You are such a good mom. Her doll turned out perfect. On an unrealated note, what color nail polish is she wearing? I really like that color.

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    1. It called is Essie Rose Bowl. Kate had the day off yesterday and she asked me to paint her nails. I was kind of surprised she picked that color. (she usually oinks hot pink or neon orange;) but it looks cute on her.

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  4. She did a fabulous job! And I bet she is so VERY proud :)
    I'd read that several years ago, about allowing kids to do it on their own because when we do it, it sends the message that they are not capable. I've been amazed at all my kids CAN do when I let them and it's a win/win around the house because they become proficient at it AND confident at the same time.
    Thanks for always being so honest, it's a blessing to know I'm not the only one still needing humility lessons regularly ;)

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  5. Fabulous post, Kim!! I am a huge advocate of making mistakes... there is no better way to learn a lesson than to learn from a mistake!!

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  6. My dad...er...the tooth fairy...forgot to visit me twice as a kid. I still tease my dad about it. But she...er...he...left a little extra for my troubles so it all worked out in the end. Ha!

    And her doll is adorable! My parents never did my homework either and to this day I am upset that my friend C's parents did hers straight through high school. And everyone knew but she totally got away with it.

    KK

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  7. The Tooth Fairy missed us once. She left a heart-felt note of apology and an extra piece of Fairy Gold. :)

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  8. Great post -- we're always learning, aren't we . . . and making mistakes along the way -- it's just part of the journey! Love Kate's mini-me! :)

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  9. It is amazing what our children can do for themselves when given the opportunity, and not being a helicopter mom (guilty at times). Thanks for the needed reminder, I'm working on chore charts now that's school's in session.

    The tooth fairy forgot not too long ago with my Sophie (bad tooth fairy), so I snuck it in and after a short while asked her to double check, just to make sure. After she happily found it, she came to me and asked "Mom, are you really the tooth fairy?"... Feeling she was old enough, I said "yes, I am". Her response "Ya, right". She's never asked since. :)

    Kate did a wonderful job on her doll!
    ~Dianne

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  10. It's amazing what our children can do when given the opportunity, and not being a helicopter mom (guilty at times). Thanks for the needed reminder, I'm working on chore charts now that school is in session.

    The Tooth Fairy forgot awhile back with my Sophie (forgetful, or tired, Tooth Fairy), so I snuck it in and asked if she checked real well, she may want to double check. She happily found the money, then asked me "Mom, are you really the Tooth Fairy?"... Feeling she was old enough I said "Yes, it's really me". She thought about it them replied "Ya, right" and she hasn't asked since :)

    Kate did a wonderful job with her doll! She'll be proud to display it.

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  11. lol...That darn tooth fairy is SO unreliable!! She never remembers to show up at our house!!!!!

    Love the doll!!!

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  12. The doll is precious......frame worthy when it is all said and done.... ;)

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  13. i love that she did this all by herself!! great job kate;) the doll looks perfect, and i know she felt so proud (and you too!!) you are doing a wonderful job Kim, don't beat yourself up! I have a hard time with the kids craft stuff, i want it to look "nice" in my eyes, but to them it is perfect. so hard sometimes!!

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  14. I miss your sweet illustration of the three peanuts!

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    1. I have it saved on my computer, Kristi. I did love that illustrations as it really captured my kids at that point in time. They have just grown up so much. Will is driving and going to football games and homecoming dances with a date! And Harry is a middle schooler. I needed something fresh and clean. The peanuts are growing up:)

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    2. Why do they have to grow up? I can't believe Will is driving and dating! And that Harry is in middle school. You're going to need a big bottle of wine! I'm glad you saved the illustration. It always made me smile when I saw it on top of your blog.

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  15. I've done the same thing with my Abby. I didn't get all involved with the my older kids, either; maybe there's something about these babies and we think they NEED our help? Kate did a fantastic job on her "me" doll, I love the monogram. Or maybe we want to help them with projects during the day because we know we'll be too sleep in the evenings to remember to notify the tooth fairy!

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Thank you for your kindness.