Pushing too hard. And not enough.

“Can I buy something at the tuckshop Mum?” Scottie (7) asked. Today was the day she was going to have a special morning tea with the principal for excelling at her school work. child with coin

“I’ve already packed your lunch but, yes, I’ll give you $2 to spend at the tuckshop on whatever you like…as a treat.”

“But how will I know what I can buy at the tuckshop if you haven’t written it on a bag?”

“Well, you’ll have to think about the money you have, and strategies on how to work that out.”

She looked a bit unsure.

“Honey, if you’re old enough to go to the tuckshop and buy something, you’re old enough to work out what you can buy. You may like to ask someone at the counter to point out what you can afford with the money you have. You may like to look at the menu and find the items under $2 yourself. Just think about it hey?”

In the afternoon I was interested about how she went.

I could have sat down with the menu and gone through everything she could buy and written it down so she was prepared but I decided not to. I’ve learned, over the course of my parenting career, the value of NOT  constantly micro-managing my children. Plus, knowing my daughter as I do, and understanding her need for independence and confidence played a part in the decision too.

That afternoon, she happily told me about her trip to the tuck-shop. 

“The food was set out in sections. Some under $2. Some under $1. So I knew what I could buy.  Here’s the change Mum.”

Sometimes I push independence on my children too hard. And then sometimes I control my children too much.  I rarely get the balance right. Who knows where the balance line is on these matters where there are a lot of variables to consider?  Scottie was right well pleased about the experience, even though she hadn’t done it before.  Perhaps, a win?

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  • Reply
    Sharron Peacock
    March 16, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I think….a win!!!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2011 at 8:46 am

    What an honour for Scottie to be singled out for excellence that way! And such a great real life learning experience disguised as a treat too.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      March 16, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      I thought it was so sweet that the school did that for students. As you can imagine, she was proud as punch.

  • Reply
    Steph L
    March 16, 2011 at 8:59 am

    sounds like a win/win to me 🙂

    Your daughter leant about choices, money and frugality (you got change)!


    Gold Coast

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      March 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      I was surprised to get change LOL. I thought she would spend it all. I think I would have HA!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Definitely a win! It’s scary to see ‘helicopter parents’ and the way they hover over their children, controlling every decision and step in their life. Children need to learn from their mistakes. It’s our job to pick them up when they fall.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      March 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      Yes, true Sarah. Kids need to learn from their mistakes, and not just mistakes but learning experiences too.

    • Reply
      June 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      any resource on not being a ‘helicopter parent’? I feel like that’s where I am but do not wanna be… yet doesn’t know how not to be =*(

      BTW thanks for the stories Kelly! I’m new and just started reading some posts and find it very honest and warming to read the struggles and the WIN WIN moments you share

      • Reply
        Kelly Be A Fun Mum
        June 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm

        Hi Lyn

        So glad you’re here! You know, I think most of us start of as helicopter parents. I know I did! It’s a really hard balance to find. I wrote about it recently for KleenexMums. You can read the post here: http://www.kleenexmums.com.au/my-family/kids/organising/

        I hope that’s is a little helpful. If you have any other questions, please leave me a message. xx

  • Reply
    Keith Schoch
    March 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    So hard to always get it right; some days they want to be dependent, and other days they want to take on the world by themselves.

    I think the important thing is that we as parents just keep trying our best. No one will remember the times that we fumbled the ball.

    And we can always give it a go again with the grandchildren if needed.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      March 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      I hope so Keith. I fumble…A LOT! HA!

      “And we can always give it a go again with the grandchildren if needed.” BAHAHAHA! Love it! Made my day!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Definately a win. I recently wrote a post titled “What are you doing for your kids that they could be doing for themeselves?” I now ask myself that question regularly and am surprised, as have been many others, at just how much we do that is not only unnesessary but a missed opportunity for their learning and independence.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      March 16, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      THAT is a brilliant question!!! I’ll be asking much more often. Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Constant challenge in my world. Constant. I drive myself mad with it (and so can only imagine how it must occasionally confuse the kids…)

  • Reply
    Michelle Dennis Evans
    March 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Well done mum!
    It takes a lot of thought to even attempt to get it right.

    • Reply
      Kelly B
      March 24, 2011 at 6:56 am

      Awwww, thanks Michelle xx

  • Reply
    March 24, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Hi Kelly,
    Just imagine the joy she felt being in control of the whole process! This brings me back to my childhood and my first business dealings! Thanks for sharing–definitely a WIN! Oh–and I can’t get over her bringing change back–that really tickled me. 🙂

    • Reply
      Kelly B
      March 24, 2011 at 6:58 am

      hehe…I know. I would have spent every last cent. She’s s cutie.

  • Reply
    Neighbourhood Kids: It’s Time to go Home | Be A Fun Mum
    March 29, 2011 at 8:02 am

    […] or hovering over every move my kids make because I do aim to give my children a lot of freedom within helpful boundaries. However, my children are my most precious earthly gifts and, while I don’t believe […]

  • Reply
    April 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    What a great experience for her!

    I do the same with my son – do everything for him. Have tried to slow it down a bit and give him more choices and decision making and its going well.

    Too hard to let go……..

  • Reply
    April 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    What a great experience for her. Its hard knowing when to hold back. yay mum 🙂

  • Reply
    April 9, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Congratutions, Kell. I’d say you scored a win! And some wonderful life lessons learnt too.
    I wish I knew if I was getting the balance right too. Such a hard thing. But, in the end, all we can do is our best! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 10, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Great learning experience. I’m afraid I’ll be the type of parent who pushed for independence really hard, I mean, already I think Tricky should be able to make his own food but he refuses!

  • Reply
    A Cajun Down Under
    April 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Well done to your daughter earning her special morning tea.

    Sounds like you won this round, and you got change back to boot. 🙂

  • Reply
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