Nine Ways Lazy Parenting Helps Grow Great Grown ups - Anna Rosenblum Palmer
Helicopter Parenting. Free Range Parenting. Sharenting. The names go on and on. We all reap rewards and pay the price for whichever philosophy we adopt. What happens when we don’t adopt a philosophy at all? What happens to our kids if we cross the line from laissez-faire to downright lazy? Let’s take a look… 1. Outerwear – My son rushed out the door to school juggling his backpack, sneakers, and water bottle. What was missing? His coat. It was 5 degrees. Did I run after him? No. I sat at the counter sipping my tea. One frozen walk to school can save hundreds of mornings of nagging. 2. Laundry – My son rarely gets out of his snuggly fleece. The whole family rotates through contributions and it was his turn to do the laundry. After dumping a bowl of cereal down his front he added his “fuzzy” to a full load. He ran the washer and stopped there. From Friday to Tuesday things melded into a sour mess. He lost his beloved fleece. We were down a few sheets, but we are now up a diligent laundry doer. Things are fresh and folded in just a few hours. 3. Dinner- This one is a simple equation. One meal + full family = flexible eaters. 4. Cold Hard Cash – My kids get a dollar per year of life.* The money comes at the end of family meeting and is not tied to chores. Contributing to our household is an expectation that stands apart from payment. They are paid in cash each Monday. If they leave their cash lying around they lose it. This has happened one time each. 5. Reaping the Rewards of Natural Consequences* – Do you dread food shopping? Do your kids whine and demand things at checkout, do you forget half of your list? Here is the lazy way to address all of those problems… Let the kids shop. Our town has a small grocery store. One afternoon I sat in the car and talked with the boys about what our family needed to get through the week. They carefully wrote down a list. Which they ignored. (Some things run in the family) I gave them the money to shop and sat in the literal drivers seat while the boys took the figurative one. About 50 minutes later they were loading the car. By Thursday we were all a bit hungry. The next week they chose more chicken. As a bonus they appreciate the delicate balance of meal planning and budget and are much better companions when we take to the cart collaboratively. 6. The Reverse Tuck In – I go to bed. They tuck me in. So simple. So satisfying. They feel competent and grown up. I feel my eyelids on my eyeballs. 7. Playing Doctor (The G rated Version) – Think of this as a science-meets-sleep combo. When my boys were little I would lie on the couch and have them apply compresses and assess my “illness”. ...
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