making myself obsolete

I know parents (okay, mothers, mostly) who do everything for their kids.  They lay out their clothes, run their baths, do all the housework and the cooking and the cleaning.  I’ve seen articles on ‘helicopter’ parents, who hover over their children, even going so far as to clean their college dorm rooms, do their laundry, try to convince employers to hire them…ridiculous.

My idea about parenting is that the whole goal of it is to make myself obsolete.  My goal is to teach The D the things she needs to learn to be a capable, self-reliant adult.  How to make good choices, to do practical things for herself, and to give her the room to screw up now, when I’m there to catch her, rather than later, when I may not be able to help.

To that end, I’ve been teaching her how to do things like laundry — who cares if everything turns pink?  We’ve also been cooking.  First up, bread.  Not my most successful experiment with her.  When you’re 13 and ADHD, the idea that you have to wait an hour or four for your work to come to fruition, it’s a bit much to ask.  But she’s good at prepping things.  She makes a killer salad, and likes to chop veggies, scramble eggs, make marinades, and even shred cheese.

But she’s afraid of the oven, and I want to get her over that fear.  So next up, cookies.  Oatmeal raisin, at her request.  Then lasagna, french toast, and rice pilaf, all at her request.  Also, mashed potatoes, one of her favorite foods.  I’m hoping that by the time she heads back to Arizona, she’ll be able (with some help of course) to make a dinner for her grandparents.  Something simple, but tasty.

Wish me luck!

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Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 12:08 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. You probably won’t even see this comment, but thank you so much for raising your child like this. I never got the chance to fuck up, fix things myself and move on and feel better, until I was much older.


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