Sep 21, 2008

When Your Child Doesn't Want To Try

I think I may have been doing my son a disservice. Unintentionally of course, I have been stifling his independence and undermining his self-esteem.
I have been trying so hard to hold on to the baby I gave birth to, that I have not seen his signs of struggle. It came to me this morning in one of those “ light bulb moments”, that the problem may be me.
You see, all of a sudden my once daring child has started to say “I can’t do it, I'm just a little boy remember?”
I started hearing it when he was trying to use the potty and was not productive. Of course the minute he was back in his training pants, he would go. Then he would say “ I just can’t keep it in”. So now he was mad at himself for not going in the potty and for wetting his pants.
The poor guy just can’t win!

However, he has started using that phrase several times a day for other reasons, even if it’s something he has done before.
I now realize that I may still be doing too many things for him that at almost 4, he should be doing himself. Things like getting his own drink of water or snapping the buckle on his car seat. He has no interest in dressing himself or washing himself but that’s probably because I just go ahead and do it to save time.
I know I need to stop and let him build his self-esteem by building his skills.

It’s time for mommy to back off and let him grow up
(just a little). I don’t want him to stop trying new things.
I never realized how hard it was going to be to let go.
That “ mother bear” instinct is much stronger than I could have predicted. He is so bright academically and I can’t let him develop a fear of failure that may stifle his education. After some insightful reading around the web I found some helpful links.
If you are having any of the same troubles in your house check out …

These articles were helpful for me and starting now, my son and I hopefully are going to grow together!
I can’t promise however that I won’t spend many late nights crying into my ice cream while looking through baby albums. Such is motherhood.


kim* said...

There are so many little things in motherhood to deal with. Think about the time Mary (in the bible) had to allow Jesus to go to fullfill God's will. if you ever get a chance get the book Bad Girls of the Bible. there is an awesome lesson in there about being a mom.

La Alicia said...

better you realize it now...I'm impressed that you realized this and are doing something about it -- good for yoU!

TiLT said...

Thanks for the links. My Wyatt (3 1/2) is very independent with lots of stuff...but the biggies - like potty - he's holding on to the "I'm just little". I think I am also guilty of taking over too much b/c of time...glad I ran across you through the etsy thread about blogs...I'll have to keep checking in to see how it's working for you.

Tammy said...

My son is almost 4 also. He likes to copy his big sister and tries to do way too much for his age. Very informative post with great links. Have a great day! :o)

littlebrownpen said...

Oh wow. Been there done that. I have a 4yo and had the same realization. It is super hard to let go. However, it became exponentially easier for me once I had another baby. :)

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Oh, it's hard to let the baby go. I have struggled with this too.

Montessori philosophy also has good ideas on helping kids become self-sufficient, I've found.

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