Do You Know How to Delegate?

Last weekend i found myself in a Strategic Planning seminar. The points that were raised were mostly applicable to organizations - whether it's a business, a church or other non-profit organizations. But when the speaker started talking about delegating, it struck me as a parenting lesson.

Are we, as parents, confident enough to delegate responsibilites to our children? It easier when our children are already adults. We endorse business decisions and other important responsibilities to them. But how about the younger ones? I gues the question we should ask ourselves is "how early should we start delgating responsibilites?"

When we were discussing delation during the seminar, the speaker explained that when we delegate, we must allow for a certain level of risk. But what is important is that the risks associated with the task is calculated. This means that you can easily recoup most of the damage should something go wrong. Likewise, the responsibilites that we delegate to our children should also be calculated based on their age. We give them responsibilites but make sure that it is age appropriate. More importantly, we should also ensure that the consequences of failure will not be life threatening. 

One of the things that Dens and i have recently talked about is allowing our kids to commute in the future. Dens is convinved that he does not want our kids to grow up dependent on private transportation. I agree with Dens 100 percent.  But there is a struggle within this paranoid mommy to allow for them to commute at such a young age.  Perhaps when they're 30?  Okay fine, 25?  I feel like allowing them to commute at a young age is like sending them off to war unprepared.  Dens started to commute when he was in gradeschool and i cannot imagine doing the same for my kids.  I told him maybe the first time Troy or Dawn will take the jeep, i will be trailing behind in our car. Dens didn't find it very funny. Maybe because he knew i was serious.

It's never easy to let go.  When we hold on to these parental responsibilites, our children will grow up in a very sheltered environment that will not allow them to thrive in the real world. It's important that we start delegating small responsibilities to them while they're young. It really does not have to be something big right away. For example, my 2-year old daughter is tasked to always pack her things away after she plays. She also helps me fix things at home and is always reminded to close the door after herself each time she leaves a room.  With my 5-year old, we often remind him to try to do things himself first before asking for help. When we watch movies in our TV room, he has learned to get water by himself.  Most of the time he would even get water for everyone else while he is at it.  Sometimes, other friends and family members would get anxious when they see Troy holding the pitcher because he might drop it and make a mess. For me, that's quite all right. Yes, he may spill the water sometimes but that's part of learning. In fact, he already knows to clean up after himself should that happen...in which case it becomes another teaching opportunity.  Again, the risk involved in the given responsibility is not life threatening so that is fine.

Maybe in a couple of years, i will be braver and allow my children to take the jeep. Until then, we will continue to train them at home and win these small battles. Maybe next time we will be ready for the war.

cheekeegirl  – (July 25, 2013 at 5:17 PM)  

As to the commuting at grade school, maybe before it's safer. But know, I don't think it's safer on that early age. Nakakatakot pa talaga.

I also delegate some tasks to my 2-year old daughter. I let her bring their used bottles in our kitchen when we wake up in the morning. Then I let her assist with me when fixing our bed and our ironed clothes. That I think will make her a good Ate to his baby sister

Tiffany  – (July 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM)  

Hi cheekeegirl :) Yes, i agree that times are different now. We need much wisdom on how much to delegate.

Good to hear about the tasks you are already delegating to your 2-year old. I'm sure she'll be wonderful ate!

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