The basic task of parenting, whether you have a 2-year-old, a 12-year-old or even a 22-year-old is to work yourself out of a job. There is no better time for this than during the holidays!
Holidays are a great time for parents to move closer to redundancy. Of course, we never become redundant in a relationship sense – the emotional connection between our children and ourselves is never severed and hopefully only deepened over time. In practical, physical ways however we NEED to make our children less, rather than more reliant on us.
It is easy as parents during rushed school term time to take on some jobs and responsibilities that really should belong to our children. We find ourselves waking teenagers, making lunches and cleaning out school bags rather than giving these basic tasks of living over to them. Yes, it is often easier to do it ourselves but is it assisting with their development of independence?
The school holidays provide a good opportunity to reflect on the whole notion of job allocation. It is also a good time for children and adolescents to increase their job load when they are not burdened with schoolwork and extra-curricular activities.
Here’s my holiday challenge for you: Think of a job or two that you regularly do for your child that he/she can do for themselves. Then step back and let them do on a permanent basis. If you do that you are one step closer towards redundancy!
Hoping you all have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable summer break.
Wellbeing Coordinator / Registered Psychologist