Our children are born relying on us to provide their every need. As they grow their needs become so greatly vast that it becomes impossible to meet each one. Though we may not notice , the best of intentions could be blurring the line between us loving our children and teaching them independence.
Saturday morning activities soon become boring to our seven year old. Suddenly riding his bike, hunting for squirrels in the woods, and eating endless amounts of snack foods isn’t enough.
He wants friends over. Games to play. He wants to go to the toy store. The playground. ANYTHING but home, and ANYTHING but what I can provide in that very moment.
His shoulders start to drag the floor in a raging pity party. Through his whining and nagging he is saying one thing to me.
((ENTERTAIN ME MOM.))
-Don’t get me wrong. All three of our children have endless play dates during the week. Play with friends at school. Go out to lunch at least twice a week. Have friends over for dinner. See new movies. Play new games. They aren’t deprived children, in fact… in fact I think they are spoiled by entertainment. –
When I realized my seven year old son couldn’t go find something to do on his own, I knew that somewhere along the way I had taken it upon myself as his Mother to entertain him. I had taken up a new job title. I will love you, clothe you, feed you AND I will make it my constant priority to make sure you are never bored.
I have done this to myself. I have added extra ON TOP of regular parenting stress to make sure that my children have something to do on a constant basis. This is not how real life works. This is not Kingdom minded.
As a Christian adult I’ve learned along the way of following Christ that my walk with Jesus isn’t about him entertaining me. It’s about me following his instructions, trusting him and loving him. Giving him my hearts desires and trusting him that He will guide me down the right path.
I am going to ” bow ” out more. I am going to STOP giving them a million choices of activities they can do. I am going to START teaching them to learn the ropes of choices… and thinking on their own. If we don’t start this now we are going to have a bunch of lazy teenagers that are attracted to what entertains them instead of what is good for them.
Though that Saturday my son wasn’t pleased with me throwing up my hands and saying:
” Asher, this is your day, but it is my day too. And your sisters day. You are not the only one that lives here. We aren’t going anywhere today. You can choose something to do around here, on your own. Momma wants you to make your own choice. “
And with that he stomped off with a horrible attitude. I wish I could say that he smiled and gave me a big hug and started a chapter book on his own. He didn’t do that. It took him a while get out of the mindset that having ” nothing to do ” is a negative thing.
It’s going to be a process, but I believe that taking the responsibility off of my shoulders to be his entertainer, that he will learn the art of creative fun. Playing outside more. Using his imagination. And just living.