I Am Raising Grown Ups, Not Kids: My New Mantra

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grown upsAs my kids have gotten older, I have struggled with when to let go and when to push them. I will forever say yes if they want me to read to them and snuggle. The day they give up on that will be a sad day for this mama. There are other tasks and skills that I am ecstatic to pass on to independence. I do not long for the days of diapers and wiping little bottoms. I have gladly helped my children learn to do their own laundry. They can shower, dress themselves, and brush their own hair.

All children become adults when they reach the age of eighteen, but are they truly a grown up? Do they possess the skills to live a successful life outside of their parents’ home? Can they “adult” and do all the things? Will they need to call home twenty times a day in order to survive?

It is with these questions in my head, I realized my goal that has become a mantra:

“I am raising grown ups.”

With this new mantra repeating in my mind, I have set out to be more intentional in my parenting. I need to guide them toward success. Even though I am motivated to raise these little grown ups I created, sometimes it becomes difficult to navigate. I sometimes find myself in need of a repeat of my mantra to get me going.

When it might be easier to just do it myself.

Sometimes my kids don’t sweep or vacuum the floor as thoroughly as I would like. They don’t fold their laundry the way I would. Their egg cracking skills leave a lot behind(on my counter…). It takes some redirection and we have to do things over at times. Often this leaves me tempted to just do it myself next time,  but what does that achieve? It only robs my kids of the chance to do better next time. In these instances I need to push them toward a new skill. Help them find the discipline to repeat and practice until they achieve mastery.

When they want to help.

With children, we need to catch the moment they are truly interested and engaged in an activity. It might not be convenient when they ask to help with the salad for dinner, but use that interest! Embrace a late meal in the spirit of your future ability to sit back and relax when that child is able to cook the entire meal. Let them cut those misshapen cucumber slices because, with practice, they will gain the skills.

When it’s hard.

My kids are more than capable of packing their own lunch at this point. This is also one of my favorite daily tasks I do for them. I love choosing and packaging their meal and including little treats and notes. I have done it since kindergarten. So this is one time when it is really hard for me to let go. I have to push myself to allow them the practice of a newly achieved skill. I have to open myself up to trusting that their choices will be balanced and they will have everything they need. 

“I am raising grown ups.”

It might seem a little early to be focusing on adulthood when we haven’t yet reached middle school, but I have an ulterior motive. I would like to reap the fruits of my labor before I send them out into the world. I want to enjoy the fact that I get to sleep in on weekend mornings, because my kids can make themselves breakfast and read a book without needing me. It’s a great feeling and a wonderful window into the future!

“I am raising grown ups.”

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Kristal is a native of California, lived in Utah, and now lovingly calls Colorado Springs home. She grew up in a household with four younger siblings and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz. She and her husband are raising their elementary school aged children in the Briargate area. With kids in school full time, Kristal is an active member of the PTA, and spends time working in local schools. She is passionate about connecting moms in our community. In her spare time, she enjoys long walks in the aisles of Target, dancing it out in Zumba classes, drinking copious amounts coffee, cooking dinner as a form of therapy, and last but certainly not least, spending time outdoors with her family.