Monday, October 29, 2007

Independence Training

As a certified Type-A personality, friends are often surprised at how laid-back I am with the girls sometimes. For example, they must wear hats when they leave the house. We have a laundry basket near their shoes so they can easily reach their hats. They decide which hats to wear. I rarely interfere with their choices. The blond twin likes to wear her pink/orange/yellow flowery denim jacket with a cream knit cap with a snowman as the top tassle. It's a look only a four-year-old can pull off. She wears it with pride. The brunette twin put on her pink, "jester" hat with her purple Tinkerbelle jacket today. She loves it.

I save my controlling moments for important issues, like cleaning the playroom. If they want to play with their toys, they must clean them up. It's not optional in our house. It takes soooo much longer for them to do it than it would for me to just clean up everything. Sometimes I just want to do it so we can move on, but I really try to resist the impulse.

The important lesson, though, is for them to learn to be independent. They are learning to make decisions quickly. (We're leaving. Get a hat.) They are learning to take responsibility for their actions. (You made the mess. You clean it up.) And, they are learning how good it feels to do a good job. (Please set the table.) It's not perfect every time. Some days we move two steps backwards before we make any progress. We do make progress, though. In the end, I think that's what is most important.

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