The Gross National Debt

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Let 'em get in the way

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This article posits a query which has been going on for as long as I can remember.

Full disclosure - I often have problems remembering last week. So I really have no idea how long this debate has been going on.
No problem here.

But still. If the boy wants to play with dolls, let him. If the girl wants to be a ninja, more power to her. Let the kids be kids.

More to the point, get involved with the kids. When they want to do something, help them do it. In raising my two, I did stuff with them. Lots of stuff. Whatever they wanted to do which included (when they were small) riding around checking on the cows.

We did things together. Now my son is 16 and my daughter 14. Both hug me regularly in public. In front of their friends.

Neener. Neener Neener.

Even MORE to the point, get your little ones to help YOU.

When my two were small, I got them to "help" me frequently.

It took twice as long to accomplish the task v. me doing it by myself. Doesn't matter.
Atta boy!

I showed them I cared. I showed them they mattered to me. I taught them that they could. They now have skills. They can do, by themselves, what we used to do together. They can even doing it faster than I can in some cases.

I also taught them skills that are sadly lacking in today's world. My two can put food on the table straight from the source. They have fed the family several times over in fact.

I spent time with them, time that can never get retrieved. They spent time with me. We did things that had to be done and things we wanted to do. The two were not always the same.

The point is, WE did it. How many of you parents can say the same thing? You new parents, will you be able to say it years down the road?

What I did is not hard. In fact, it was beyond easy. I capitalized on something.

Children absolutely LOVE to help. Guaranteed.

I can take ANY toddler, no matter how scared he or she is of me and hand the little one something and say "Can you help me take this to (insert some person a short distance away)." The kid is zooming off with whatever it was in his hand. It gets delivered, He hauls back, zooming past me and giving me a High Five at the same time.

Children have a major desire to be needed, wanted, to contribute and feel useful. When you feed into that, you build real character into that child. You teach him or her that they can matter, they do matter and what they really will make a difference.

It's now so ingrained in my two that they go out looking for things to do to help other people. Unfortunately this has not translated into doing stuff around the house. Someone else's house? They are all over it.

Getting back to the original subject, if the kid wants to play with dolls, let the kid play. If it really bothers you (and it should not, unless the child is doing vivisectionist work), then ask the kid to HELP you do things. Equally good, ask the child if you can help with what he is doing.

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