photo by Nicholeb211
photo by Nicholeb211
An anonymous mother asks, "Am I a bad mom?"
In her words...
"My son, yesterday, asked me, "We can do it tomorrow?"
I said, "Yes."
He said, "But you're never awake in the morning. You're always asleep."
We were talking about making a video of him and his toys. It was late at night, around 8:30PM, and I said we should do it the next day bc it was close to bed time...I admit, in the mornings, I do often stay in bed and rely on him to feed himself. He is very independent, so I thought he didn't mind.
He feeds himself cereal, apples, string cheese...He is 5 years old and not yet in school and an only child. I do cook, don't get me wrong, but there are those days where I stay in bed and he is up, and I am not up with him. I guess I have really taken advantage of his "advanceness." He can pretty much do anything by himself. When he told me that last night, I really felt bad. Guilty even.
After reading this, I was shocked that this mother could not more clearly see that her son needs her in the mornings, but I didn't necessarily think of her as a "bad mom," just that she was using bad judgement. Her story made me consider the fact that when children show independence, parents commonly put too much responsibility on them. I bet a lot of moms will feel harshly about this mother's--have to say it, negligence--but I really think this kind of thing actually happens more than we acknowledge.
What I'm talking about is relying on a child's independence. It's not always as extreme as sleeping while your young child eats; what about when older siblings (still pretty young themselves) have to care for their younger brothers and sisters, or when parents simply trust that homework is done because they know their kid usually does just fine?
Of course, I do not believe that a 5-year-old should ever have to make his own breakfast just because he can, but when you really think about it, there are all kinds of examples of how parents rely on the independence and maturity of their children to be "enough."
Have you ever relied too much on your child's independence?