I had one of those “aha” moments today. The “aha” suddenly appeared out of one of those mixed feelings moments. It was one of those moments I felt torn between telling my child off for not doing something she so clearly was able to do and helping her out because… well, because I just enjoy it.
Very often kids ask you to help them with the easiest things ever. In moments like this we are either tempted to say your old enough to do it by yourself or we just simply tell them. Like getting dressed, tying their shoe laces or taking a shower.
My daughter likes me to “help” her take a shower and often it drives me slightly nuts as it is in the exact moments I should get dinner ready too. I feel torn between telling her to just do it and heading downstairs to get dinner ready or staying and helping her. Most of the time “helping” taking a shower simply means staying with her and chatting to her, then handing her the towel.
While I often thought that I could do so many things in those couple of minutes I realized that it is about so much more than actually helping. It’s about so much more than actually handing that towel to her, or getting her fresh pj’s or whatever she thinks it’s helpful in the very moment.
Same with my son. I so often look at him and tell him that he is old enough to do it. Which he is. Which he knows. Again, I think it’s not always about being too lazy or not wanting to do whatever I asked him to do (well, sometimes he is too lazy and sometimes he just doesn’t want to do it…).
Have you ever wondered if our kids struggle with letting go of being a child and growing up too? You know, the same way we sometimes struggle when we realize that they are changing and that they are no longer our little babies anymore?
I think it’s actually the case.
I truly think often it’s not about being lazy. Not with my daughter, not with my son. Often it’s about hanging on to this mother and child relationship. I believe that sometimes they want to hang on to that little child for a bit longer as well.
We always imagine that our kids want to grow up, that they want to be the big child, rather than our little baby. What if they don’t? What if they want to hang on to those moments when they feel safe and looked after, those moments when they don’t have to worry or take on responsibility? What if they have their moments where wanting to be independent suddenly feels scary?Maybe it’s then when they ask us for help for things we simply can’t understand why they would need help for. Maybe it’s their way of not letting go just yet. And I think, every now and then, we should give them that moment. We should let them be the little child once more, only for this short moment. Growing up is a wild ride as we all know. We venture out in the unknown where we suddenly have to take on the world by ourselves. We are no longer in our mother’s womb, we are no longer been carried by our parents. Taking on the world is a big task. Especially for a little child. So often I hear parents point out how fast our kids grow up. They grow up too fast. Not just for us but also for themselves. So let’s hang on to those little moments, especially when they offer them to us.