Competence is Catching!

Hi Readers — Here’s a brilliant idea that came in response to the previous couple of posts about how our kids can become more responsible when we back off a little. This mom not only liberated her OWN kids from too much help (however kindly proffered), she liberated a whole classroom! — L.

Dear Free-Range Kids: I always hated when my kids wanted to dress themselves — not because I was dying to do it, but because I would have to defend myself against the “bad mommy” accusation from the other preschool parents. My guys like wearing stripes and plaid or really odd color combinations.

One day I decided I had had enough. I made up “I dressed myself today!” stickers and rewarded my little guys for doing it on their own.  Pretty soon, all the little preschoolers wanted stickers too, so everyone began to dress themselves as well.  I stopped being embarrassed by the independence of my children and began to embrace it.  It can be hard to be the mom who doesn’t do it all for the kids, parents feel peer pressure too! — Sarah

The idea of “I did it myself!” stickers is incredibly powerful. Think of all the situations they could be used in, and how the idea of celebrating kiddie competence could catch on! — L

Okay, it looks like someone DID dress these kids (funny).