The scene: 7 am in the morning, breakfast time. Dad is in the kitchen. 9 year old is in the living room.
Dad: [Hollering from the kitchen] What do you want for breakfast?
9 yo: [Hollering from the living room] A bagel.
Dad: Come on out and make it.
9 yo: Can you make it?
9 yo: UGH! [stomps on floor]
Am I my child’s servant? I’d like to think I’m not. When it’s pancake morning, I’m more than happy to make them because I’ve seen the resulting mess. That, and I don’t yet trust the 9 year old to use the stove.
We’re working on it, though.
But a bagel? He can make that. And no, I’m not going to pour his milk for him, either. I’m afraid if I were to tend to his every wish I’d soon be wiping his arse and picking his nose for him.
Isn’t that what people think happened to the Millennials? They were coddled and babied and had everything done for them so now they can’t boil water. I’ve heard stories (and I’d like to think they’re just stories, but they’re probably not) about parents attending their child’s job interview. About parents calling university professors to get their child’s grade changed. About Millennials who eat out because they can’t cook.
I apologise to those Millennials this does not apply to.
We’ve been working on independence. Mostly in the morning getting ready for school and in the evening getting ready for bed. His ADD doesn’t really help the situation, but knowing why he’s having so much trouble is a step toward helping him better. Prior to helping him he needed constant supervision to keep him on track. He couldn’t get into pajamas and brush his teeth without being distracted by his brother, or books, or his toenails. So I would stand outside his bedroom door and give constant verbal reminders on what he should be doing.
I’m afraid of what might happen should this continue into his teen years or even later. Should I just resolve the fact that he’ll be living with us forever? Perhaps long enough that I’ll be so old I can’t cook my supper. Maybe by then he’ll have it figured out and will be able to take care of his elderly parents in their final years. Perhaps if we can get him a good job he’ll be able pay for the house and the groceries and the hover cars.
So we are creating an independent individual today so that he can make his own bagel. If he can make his own bagel he won’t be hungry in school. If he’s not hungry in school he’ll be able to focus better. If he focuses better he’ll learn more. If he learns more he’ll get into university. If he gets into university he’ll get a good job. If he gets a good job he’ll be able to afford to feed himself. If he can feed himself he can make his own bagel.
And wipe his own arse.