Friday, March 5, 2010

Mollycoddling Our Children

I was in the kitchen doing the washing up from dinner, up to my elbows in soapy water and dirty dishes, when KiKi came in the room and asked for a peanut butter sandwich. I told her to hold on because I was nearly done. Instead of waiting for me she grabbed the bread and peanut butter then asked for a knife.

"KiKi, I said I would do it in a minute," I explained.
"No, I will do it," she told me in a matter of fact voice.

The kitchen was already a mess. What was the harm? The knife is a butter knife, dull, it can't cut. Frankly, I have had worse than peanut butter smeared on my kitchen table. I decided to let her go for it. I gave her a butter knife and cleared a spot at the table for her.

She placed the slice of bread on the table and started working on her sandwich and I went back to work washing up (keeping an eye on her of course). Sure, it took her a lot more time to smear the peanut butter on the bread than it would have taken me, but she did it on her own. She was proud of herself too.

While she was happily munching away at her sandwich I started really thinking. Do I coddle her too much? Really, if I hadn't been busy, I know I would have just made the sandwich for her. Or, I would have jumped in and started smearing it myself when she didn't get it on the bread exactly how I do it. She is only three after all. She can do it though. She showed me that with a little supervision she can do it on her own. Now, I just wonder, if I let my kids have a bit more free reign, what else can they do?