The Importance of Teaching Kids to Be Independent

The Importance of Teaching Kids to Be Independent

Would you agree that kids tend to give up too easily?

My kids sure do.

Take my daughter and her homework for example. When she gets stuck on a problem, she gets really frustrated and whines about how she cannot figure it out.

She ends up sitting there, pouting…which leads to no homework being done.

So, what does mommy or daddy do? We come over and tell her how to do it. Which is all fine
and dandy because we do want her to know that we’re there for her when she needs help.

The problem was in how we, as her parents, were helping her.

Instead of guiding her into figuring out the solution to the problem herself, we were essentially giving her the answers.

Instead of having her attempt to talk out loud her thought process to figure out where she is
actually getting stuck and what exactly she doesn’t understand, we tend to jump in a little too early.

Anyone else guilty of jumping in too soon to help their kids?

She was not thinking for herself.  What kids these days are missing is that critical thinking component.  

Here are a few ways we take away from our kids’ independence:

  • Tell them the answer right away
  • Do it for them
  • Tell them how we think the task should be done

 

Ways we let kids think for themselevs and become more independent:

  • Ask your kids to explain what they’re stuck on
  • Give kids questions to think about as a way to guide them on what they need to ask themselves next to figure the problem out

 

One thing I’m working on with my kids is how to manage their time, especially in the morning.

Now this didn’t happen overnight, but we’ve gotten them on a morning routine that they are now used to.

They wake up, brush their teeth, get dressed, make their beds, come downstairs, get their backpacks ready to go, unload the dishwasher and eat breakfast.

My daughter does not like being tardy but she’s probably the one that drags her feet the most.

Most days she is good about getting her list done.  Some days, like today, we’re twenty minutes from needing to leave the house and she has barely walked down the stairs.  

Normally, I would jump in and remind them of the time and how they’ll be late if they don’t hurry up.

Nope!

This time, I just let them be.  

Eventually one of them noticed what time it was, and they got their act together.

We made it to school with 1 minute to spare but the entire time during the car ride there, they were quite nervous.  Especially when we had to stop at each red light.

But the lesson here is that if I don’t let them figure things out for themselves and learn things the hard way, then I am not doing them any favors.

The quicker I let them fail and learn from their mistakes, the better it is for them in the long run.

An excellent example I got from another mom that I’m starting to implement with my own kids now is what I call, the Power of 3.

If they have a problem, they need to figure out for themselves three different ways they can solve that problem before coming to an adult to get help.  

This could be anything.  The key is that when they come asking for help, they need to list out the three things they did to figure it out for themselves.

This promotes independence, self-reliance, critical thinking, problem solving skills, and confidence while preventing co-dependency, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. And who doesn’t want that for our kids?

Help Your Kids Be Prepared for Accidents!

At the park or playing ball – your kids can be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  

Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

How to Train Your Kids to Do Their Own Laundry

How to Train Your Kids to Do Their Own Laundry

How to Train Your Kids to Do Their Own Laundry - PreparaMom

Part of being a good parent is teaching your kids to be self-sufficient and responsible. And part of that means doing your own laundry. Getting my kids to do their own laundry has been a huge time saver for us! The earlier you can get this routine implemented with your own kids, the easier it will be for you and your family.

Don’t Push Your Kids – But Don’t Wait Too Long Either!

Please remember, every child is different and develops at a different pace. But that being said, overall, kids are more capable of doing things on their own than we give them credit for. (Let’s face it—if they can operate a smart phone or video game system, they can do their own laundry!) 

The problem is that we either subconsciously don’t want them to be independent or we think that it will just be quicker and easier if we do it ourselves instead of taking the time to teach them how to do it.How to Train Your Kids to Do Their Own Laundry - PreparaMom

The Best Way to Teach Laundry Responsibility To Your Kids

The best way to do all of this is to introduce laundry to them in phases. When they’re younger, get them involved in the laundry process with you. Let them see you sorting, washing, drying, folding, and putting the clothes away. Be sure to explain what you’re doing as you go so they can understand it.

Teach Kids in Phases All the Parts of Laundering

As your kids get older, you can let them join you in doing different parts of the laundry. This can include simple tasks like sorting their own clothes out into a pile to fold or have them fold something simple with you like shorts or small towels. 

The idea is that eventually, over time, they will become used to all the different processes and (with a little supervision in the beginning) you can let them do each part of the laundry process on their own.

The phases my kids went through when they were learning to do laundry:

  • Phase 1 — Put their folded clothes away
  • Phase 2 — Fold their own clothes + Phase 1
  • Phase 3 — Take their clothes out of the dryer + Phase 2 + Phase 1
  • Phase 4 — Take their clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer + Phase 3 + Phase 2 + Phase 1
  • Phase 5 — Put their dirty clothes into the washer + Phased 4 + Phase 3 + Phase 2 + Phase 1
  • Phase 6 — Put detergent and fabric softener in and start the washing machine + Phase 5 + Phase 4 + Phase 3 + Phase 2 + Phase 1

A Little Investment of Time, Pays Off Eventually

I think I started my kids on this process when they were 5 and 7, although I definitely could have involved them in it a lot earlier. Now they are 8 and 10 and they’re doing their entire laundry on their own. (Up until last week, my oldest was taking care of measuring out the detergent. But now, the 8-year-old wants to learn how to pour out the detergent, so he’s getting there!)

It is SOOOOO worth it to take that extra time and effort to train the kids on these processes. I know sometimes it’s much quicker to just do it yourself. But in the long run, your kids will learn how to be more self-sufficient and you won’t regret the decision to teach them when they are young.

Be Prepared All the Time!

At the park or playing ball – be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

3 Life Skills Every Child Should Be Taught

3 Life Skills Every Child Should Be Taught

3 Life Skills Every Child Should Be Taught - PreparaMom

Our kids are learning and getting skilled at so much in school these days. I’m surprised sometimes at what they learn at their age!

But there are three areas of life I’m sure we can all agree we wish we had learned in school—cleaning, cooking, and budgeting. 

These are the three areas you must teach your children as soon as possible. 3 Life Skills Every Child Should Be Taught - PreparaMom

If your kids take off to college with these skill sets, they’ll be off to a great start as responsible adults!

 

Cleaning

This is one that you need to instill in your children early on. Make them responsible for small tasks like cleaning up the sink after they brush their teeth and then move on to more complex matters like making their bed. 

By the time they go off to college, they should know how to do their own laundry, instead of bringing it back home for you to wash, and to take care of basic household cleanups such as stains. The college stereotype of students living in a pig-sty should not apply to your kids.

 

Cooking

This skill is one that so many kids don’t master early on, leading to some major problems later. 

First, your child needs to be taught how to cook healthy foods. When they go off to college, they’re going to want to lean towards quick, unhealthy junk foods that can ruin their health for years to come. (Anyone remember the “Freshman Fifteen”?) 

But it also leads into the next area of budgeting as well. If your child learns now to cook his or her own food, then he won’t have to waste money eating expensive (and unhealthy) fast food.

 

Budgeting

I wish that I had learned how to manage money at a younger age. If I had, then maybe, just maybe, I would have made better decisions and not managed to rack up over $120K in consumer debt! (A word to the wise…don’t charge your entire wedding on credit cards!) 

Thankfully, with A LOT of hard work and sacrifices, we were able to dig ourselves out of our mess. After that, I swore to myself that we’d never put ourselves into that predicament ever again and will make sure our kids don’t either. That’s why we help teach our kids early on about money management and how to delay gratification by saving up to buy the things you want instead of buying on credit.

 

Three Big Areas of Life That All Kids Can Benefit from Learning

Budgeting is just one of those life skills that every parent should instill in their children. And, of course, if they can cook and clean for themselves, it’s one less thing we have to worry about for them. If you can instill the importance of those skills at an early age, you can be sure that they will be much more successful as adults.

 

Teach Kids the Healthy Habit of Being Prepared!

Kids like being prepared for the bumps, bruises and owies of childhood. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Promote Confidence in Your Kids

Promote Confidence in Your Kids

Promote confidence in your kids - PreparaMom

If you ask any parent what they want for their kids, odds are the answer will be for them to be happy and successful in life.

One of the key components to happiness and success is confidence. When your child is confident, they’ll be able to go out and conquer the world!

 

But how do you promote that confidence?

 

Here’s a few tips to try in building self-assurance and poise in your child.

 

Lead by example

It’s going to be difficult for your child to exude confidence if you don’t as well. Kids are like sponges that soak up everything around them. And they look at their parents to be the role models they will base themselves on. You need to be as confident and self-assured as possible.

 

Promote confidence building activities

Help kids with their confidence by encouraging them to take part in activities that build confidence. Sports are only a part of this, but an important part.

In addition to that avenue, encourage your children to play outside and be more active. This type of play can keep them from becoming mindless couch potatoes, but it also encourages them to explore and discover things for themselves—a major plus for anyone hoping to gain confidence.

 

Give them praise…Promote Confidence in your kids - PreparaMom

When you ask many parents what they wished their parents had done more of, it’s to tell them that they were proud of them. You know the type— “You got an A-, why wasn’t it an A+?” instead of “Wow, that’s a great grade, I’m really proud of you.” If your child isn’t acknowledged for his or her successes, they won’t be confident in their own abilities and achievements.

 

…but also help them make improvements

Now, if you’re going to give praise, make sure that it is legitimate. A kid can smell a false compliment at 100 paces and it doesn’t do them any good. Make sure that when you praise them, you also tell them how they can improve. Help them make these improvements. Self-advancement comes from learning from your mistakes.

 

Let your kids fail

This may seem counterintuitive but hang with me for a second. If your child fails and feels miserable for that failure, their self-esteem will be dashed and their confidence will be crushed. But if you point out that everyone fails, and they should look at it as a learning experience, they’ll be able to handle the trials and tribulations of later life without losing their confidence.

 

Prepare your kids by giving them the gift of confidence

We all want what’s best for our kids. But you can’t coddle them and protect them forever. At some point, you must let them loose on the world and hope that they flourish. But if you help them to build their confidence early, they will have the poise they need to succeed.

Stay Prepared for Life’s Accidents

Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

6 Easy Laundry Hacks

6 Easy Laundry Hacks

6 Easy Laundry Hacks - PreparaMom

It may not be the most hated chore in the household (that’s reserved for that pile of dirty dishes in the sink), but laundry can be a pain in the neck.

It’s not the actual washing and drying that’s difficult—it’s the folding and putting away that can drive you crazy, especially if you’re a parent with lots of little ones causing the amount of laundry to multiply exponentially.

If you’re searching for a way to make this a little easier on you, give these laundry hacks a try:

(Please note: we do not make any money off the links below. We’re simply wanting to make your life easier by providing links if you’re interested.)

 

1.     Get a Flip Fold

If you watch The Big Bang Theory, you’ve probably seen Sheldon folding his clothes with one of these. It’s a clothes folder that you place a shirt on and with three quick flips it is folded perfectly and ready to go out on display at a clothes store.

While it’s not ideal for all clothes, this can save time and make your clothes stack up nicer. Plus, kids love it because it looks like fun and they will be more likely to join in and help.

 

2.     Keep All Your Socks Together

If you’ve done laundry for an entire family, then you know about the mystery sock. That’s the one lone sock that turns up at the end of a laundry session that doesn’t have a mate, no matter how hard you look.

Instead of losing a single sock every washing, invest in a mesh laundry bag. This way, you put all of the socks in the bag, wash them in the bag, and they’re all still together when you take them out at the end.

As an added bonus, the bag can double as a travel case for organizing your clothes on vacation!Laundry Hacks for prepared parents

 

3.     Separate Your Clothes by Person

I’m sure you’re used to sorting your laundry by color. But if possible, also sort it according to who they belong to. That way, when you get your clothes out of the dryer, you don’t have to do a massive sorting session to see who they belong to.

If that’s not practical in your household, at least consider washing the kids’ clothes separately from the adult’s. That way, when the clothes are finished, you can have your kids help you put up their clothes, saving you sorting time.

 

4.     Pre-Sorted Hampers

If you have the room, invest in a few different clothes hampers and label them: Colors, Lights, Delicates, etc. Whatever system may work for you and your family’s needs is best. But make sure you put the clothes in the right bin and then just toss them in without having to sort them.

 

5.     Combine Laundry with Something You Like Doing

Laundry isn’t just washing, drying, folding, and putting up. It also involves a tedious task—ironing. But if you find yourself dreading this, then try to liven it up.

Pop on your headphones and listen to an audiobook or an upbeat playlist from Spotify. Whatever you can do to take your mind off the task at hand will help you get through the chore as pain-free as possible.

 

6.     Get Everyone Involved

It may sound goofy but try turning laundry day into a party. Put on some music that everyone will enjoy and dance around a bit as you all put away your own clothes. If you have young kids, you may need to help them a little, but it can still go quicker, or at least it will feel that way.

 

Laundry hacks can help you gain time

Laundry doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence. As with any chore, it’s all about finding the right mindset and a way to get organized and shave off some time here and there.

Stay Prepared for Life’s Accidents

Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Insights On the Helicopter Parent Movement

Insights On the Helicopter Parent Movement

Are you a helicopter parent to your kids?

A lot of moms nowadays identify as a helicopter parent because they want to keep their kids safe. You may sometimes restrict your kids’ movement to ensure their safety, but this doesn’t always equate to helicopter parenting. In my opinion, there’s a big difference between being a helicopter parent and making sure that your kids are safe.

Worrying for your child’s safety is what any responsible parent would do, but going to extreme measures is another story.

Being overprotective and overbearing like any other helicopter parent may be detrimental in the long run. You need to identify the difference between what is a helicopter parent from that of a responsible one.

By doing so, you are letting your child grow, but what is a helicopter parent, exactly?

 

What is a Helicopter Parent?

 

Learning the traits of what a helicopter parent is can be helpful in avoiding becoming/being one. Here is a list of what I think a helicopter parent does:

  1. Doing things for your kids even if they are capable of doing it on their own.
  2. Setting impossibly high standards on your kids.
  3. Not allowing your kids to do what they want even if they are in a perfectly safe environment.
  4. Stopping your kids from experiencing new things because of your irrational fear of the outcomes.
  5. Making decisions for your kids as much as you can.

Do any of the items in the list resonate to you?

I get it, a lot of us can relate to some items on the list, and it’s perfectly normal. We want to make sure our kids have everything they need since It’s our motherly instinct kicking in!

While these feelings are normal, acting on them by being overbearing and overprotective to your kids isn’t gonna help.

 

Effects of Helicopter Parents to their Kids

 

We have the tendency to overlook what the effects of helicopter parents to their kids are and become one, ourselves.

Now that we’ve clarified what is a helicopter parent, learning on the effects of helicopter parents to kids comes next.  

Commonly, the effects of helicopter parents to their kids include:

  1. Their kids become indecisive and helpless.
  2. Their kids have low self-esteem
  3. Their kids finding it difficult to cope
  4. Their kids become too dependent on others and,
  5. Their kids become entitled

These traits may be common in younger children, but these shouldn’t persist as they grow into their adult lives. Hence, it is important to identify early on if you are a helicopter parent or not to prevent these effects.

Are you a Helicopter Parent, or not?

 

There is no perfect parenting style in the world, so we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. More so, we shouldn’t be too hard on our kids as well.

I believe we should assess our parenting styles frequently to come up with an effective style that best fits our kids. By learning what a helicopter parent is and the effects of helicopter parents to their kids, you can adjust accordingly.

We want our kids to grow holistically and become successful, and these things can only be achieved through experience. As Julius Cesar once said, “experience is a great teacher..”  and we shouldn’t be afraid to let our kids learn.

If we let them learn, we are giving them the opportunity to grow into the best citizens that they can be.

Are you a helicopter parent, or not? What are your thoughts on it?

I’d love to hear them; just leave me a message or make a comment below.