Forced Independence

About two weeks ago, I flew to Thailand for a vacation with the two kids sans Dens. It was a planned family vacation but more urgent things came up and Dens had to stay behind.

Now if you've been following our family's journey through this blog, you would know that Troy is now 6 years old and Dawn is 3. Both of my kids can be quite spirited when excited and especially when they're with each other. I was quite anxious about the trip, unsure whether i can truly handle them on my own.  So i spoke with Troy two days prior to our departure.  I explained how Dens cannot join us to the trip anymore.  Given that Troy is very close to Dens, i was prepared to hear some "I don't want to go if papa is not going" speech. But what he said caught me by surprise. He answered "Oh, that's okay, mom. I'll just be the Papa in Thailand and help you take care of Dawn"  Oh wow, i was taken aback. I didn't know how to answer that so i just hugged him and thanked him for being such a good boy. Truth is, sure i was touched, but i was honestly not confident that he would live up to his promise. Two days later, Troy proved me wrong.

We woke up at 5:30 in the morning in time for our 9am flight. Troy was instantly cooperative, getting dressed by himself (he never did this before). When we got to the airport, he offered to push Dawn's stroller so that i can take care of the luggage. He helped entertain Dawn and helped her put both their backpacks on the X-ray machine for checking. Troy amazed me. He asked me to call him 'Little Papa' during the trip. He did not forget.  When we got to Thailand, he decided he was big enough to take a bath by himself.  He even helped me convince Dawn to eat when she's not in the mood. Sure he was still playful a lot of times and needed me to remind him that he's the little papa. He's not perfect. I'm not either.  But what a transformation. When we came back from the trip, Dens also noticed his new confidence and sense of independence.

Our kids are more prepared to be independent that we give them credit for. More often that not, if the situation calls for it (i.e. no choice), then that's when you will see them rise to the challenge. A lot of  my friends told me that their kids learned to be independent when they lost the yaya...some when they migrated abroad. I guess the bottom line is that we, as parents, must stop treating them as babies. Treat them like grown-ups and that's what they will be.

Here's to my little 6-year old hero. One day you will read this post and i'd like you to know how proud i am of you! I love you more than you will ever know.

cheekeegirl  – (June 25, 2014 at 10:07 AM)  

I totally agree with you Mommy Tiff. I also gave my 3 year old daughter her shared responsibility in taking care of her 1 year old little sister. She loves it when I ask her to help me prepare the food of the little one and she'll be the one to hand over the bowl to the nanny. And when I hand her the milk of her sister and give it to her.. She likes it also when I cook, I gave her task she can manage to prepare some ingredients... It helps them build their own worth and yes, responsibility and independence.

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