Delphine is a few months shy of turning five, and she has become
a tremendously capable and independent little thing, to the point
that I am having trouble figuring out where to set limits.
I recently read a wonderful book called Breaking the Good Mom
Myth by Alyson Schafer. Schafer is an Adlerian psychotherapist,
and the Adlerian
philosphy basically says, among other things, that you should throw
as much responsibility on your child as they can handle. This is
something Blake and I have been doing all along, but the book features
an inspiring list of things that kids should be able to do at each age.
By the time she's eight she'll be running the whole household!
Delphine's been dressing herself since she was two, and she can easily
handle the putting on of winter gear that some kids older than her
are still getting helped with. (I was going to say they couldn't
manage it, but I am sure they could if their parents would just leave
them to it.) But lately the independence has been getting out of hand.
The other morning I came downstairs to see that Delphine had used a
steak knife to slice a chunk, for breakfast, off an old moldy loaf
I had forgotten
about. Yesterday she used my facecloths to clean up after her friend
peed on the bedroom floor. It's like there's no challenge she can't
Which is great, but we are going to have to draw some lines and make
some rules. The first rule has to be about knives, specifically don't
touch them. The second has to be something about cleaning up messes,
I think. Cleaning up messes is just very complicated, what with the
different products and tools, not to mention the biohazard factor. A
grown-up has to be involved. I am sure we will figure out the limits
we need to set, but in the meantime it's pretty exciting to see her