My kids are currently leaving home.
I'm not crying at all.
Does this make me a bad mom? Nah. You see they are 9 years old and 7 years old. I know they will be back. They have talked about it all afternoon. They packed their backpacks with clothes and toys, water bottles and snacks.
Let me back up here a minute. It all started when they thought I was being unfair in saying their leapster products will now count towards screen time. They really tried hard to make the point that their leapster products should not count as screen time, but the more they tried, the bigger the hole became. They then tried to use the excuse that they should be able to us them because they are educational games. I still said no. After that they decided that doing school would count as screen time too (we do online school), which means they can't do school anymore.
Sorry, I had to take a second to laugh. They really did try to convince me that I was wrong. Once we got home they said they were no longer going to do school. That's when I informed them that they would need to either get a job or move out. Because only kids who do school can live here for free.
That is when they began to pack their bags! I decided at that point that I could either squash their dreams or support them. Now please note that I am not actually going to just sit around and let me kids leave our property. My version of supporting them is this:
- Talking them through what they will have to do if they really move out. Example: get a job, a way to get to job, a place to live, pay bills, buy food, make food.
- Let them see that the things that they are wanting to take from our house is not theirs to take. Mommy and Daddy bought the food and water, so if you want to take it you will have to pay for it.
- Make sure they know that if they decide to leave the property they need to inform us. (They may think it is for us to say our goodbyes, but it is really for us to follow them or talk them down.)
Allowing them this time to be outside is good for them. They may not realize it, but they are playing right into my hands! The reason we limit screen time is so they will use their imagination, which they are currently outside doing! We limit screen time so they will get up and play, which they are currently doing! We limit screen time so that their attitudes are better (Is it just my kids? It seems like the more they play video games, computer or tablets, the worse their attitude gets.), they currently have a positive attitude.
Now think about how all this could have gone down if I had just knocked down their idea? There would have been fighting, whining, and probably sending them to their room. I would have been exhausted from dealing with the arguing.
Now let's move a few years down the road. Let's imagine them going out and applying for a job. What kinds of words do you think might be going through their head if you shot down their decision to move out and get a job as a young child? Perhaps it is "You can't get a job you're too young" or "No one is going to hire you." The things we say to our kids now, will run through their minds as they get older. I hope that when it comes time for my boys to actually move out and/or work, they will remember the things we taught them. That our words were "I think you can do anything you put your mind to."
Now, just because they are super cute, here is a picture of my sweet boys with their backpacks and stuffed animal. I sure do love them!