What You Need to Know to Raise a Fully Independent Human Being

Maintain your poise like the queen you are.

Teaching Kids to be self sufficient

The transition of a child from helpless baby to fully functioning adult human being can be a long and torturous road. They quickly become accustomed to mom doing everything for them. And, let's be honest, sometimes the men in our lives take advantage of this too and regress a little bit.

One of the things I've been asked by friends is how I've managed to stay in bed for an extra 30 minutes AFTER everyone else in my household is getting ready for their day. I say, listen. Mom needs her extra Z's in the morning. It's science. Show them this article if they don't believe you. We don't need to be the one getting up at 6 AM to get all the crap done. There's other little hands (and sometimes big hands too) to help pitch in.

Here's how to prepare to train - er, raise - a fully independent human being, in 5 easy Truths and Commandments.

Truth #1 - People (kids included) are lazy, and may violently fight for their right to be a sloth.


Failure to accept truth #1 is the reason why so many moms everywhere end up doing everything. They break down under the whining and griping and complaining and the lack of getting things done.

You must realize it is an essential life truth. There is going to be whining and griping and complaining at the start (unless you have won the "helpful kid" lotto, in which case, be gracious and count your blessings). Expect it, which will help you maintain your poise like the queen you are.

Commandment #1 - Mom shall take none of thy sh*t (and will let them know their behaviour doesn't pass mustard)


Be polite but firm in the intolerance of BS. I know he's a guy, but Red Forman is actually a great role model of the attitude you may need to adopt to eject your little nestling into the wonderful world of reality, especially if they're older kids who say things like "Are you trying to make me your slave?" when you ask them to do their own laundry.

Truth #2 - Teaching tasks is more about teaching them how to fix stuff they screw up.


You will spend 1 minute teaching a child how to make a sandwich, and then you will spend 5 hours griping at them to use a plate, pick up stuff they drop, clean off the stuff they've smeared on the front of the refrigerator, not to lick knives and stick it in the mayo jar again, and how put the items they used in the dishwasher instead of leaving them on the counter.

It's just how it works. Best accept it.

Commandment #2 - Expect thy offspring fix their own mistakes (and let them know you expect them to).

You may be tired and tempted to just fix something that goes wrong. But hey, think of it this way: fixing a screw up is problem solving 101. A valuable life skill! Are you going to be around when they're 20 to tell them to grab a towel when they spill the milk? Refer to Bob the Builder as an inspirational character as often as you need to, which may be 1743 times a day.

Truth #3 - People can be super creative about avoiding taking responsibility.


My kid once spent 25 minutes trying to build a stable towering pile of dirty clothes rather than spend 2 minutes taking his basket downstairs to the laundry room to empty it. There is no logic to it whatsoever.

Commandment #3 - Thou shalt be as deviously creative about using your time as frugally as others will try to waste it.


Do you have to crawl out of bed 10 minutes early to force your kid out of bed for school? Spend 30 seconds each evening after they pass out hiding a loud alarm clock under their bed or on top of their book case on the other side of the room.

Do your kids like glomming onto their electronic devices and forget their chores? Put it in airplane mode before they get their hands on it (you'd be surprised how many kids can't figure out airplane mode) and tell them you'll figure out why it's not working after you finish doing whatever - in the meantime, perhaps they could make their lunch for tomorrow?

You get the picture.

Truth #4 - Extra motivation may be required to break the habits of the past.


I might get some pushback on this, because some people believe you shouldn't reward kids in any way for doing their chores. But "What's in it for me?" is a natural question for human beings when being asked to do what they consider "extra" services. They have not yet accepted or understood that these "extra" services are something you will pat them on the head for and say "This is your job now," and they probably won't connect the dots between shared household responsibilities and a well-functioning environment for a while yet.

Depending on the service being asked to perform, you may resort to some small bribery as payment in trade. A visible payoff helps, even if it's praise, or simply that you have the extra time to do something special.

Commandment #4 - Thou shalt go on strike and take a "blanket burrito" day, guilt free, as occasional motivation tactic.


You would be surprised how much people are capable of doing when you say "Sorry, can't, I'm a blanket burrito." It's hard for people to argue with, especially when their motivation for trying to un-burrito you is because they're being lazy or pretending helplessness.

Humor may be required to encourage problem solving. This may include such as maps drawn to the location of your fridge when people complain they are hungry, or links to LMGTFY when your teens complain they don't have any clean pants.

Truth #5 - Kids are capable of doing a lot more than we give them credit for.

Kids can do some amazing things once they develop a little manual dexterity and some basic problem solving abilities. It's a fact. A child as young as three can use a knife. There's many tools made available safe for little ones to use, such as nylon knives.

Commandment #5 - Thou shalt encourage thy kid to git'er done, for both your happiness and theirs.


A kid who believes he's capable of doing chores will not only make you happier, he's more likely to be successful in life, too

You can do this, mom.

 RELATED: Parenting Achievement Unlocked: How Craft Sticks Got My Son to Do Laundry

Anne is one of those people who usually speaks to others in memes, pop culture references, and SAT words. On those occasions she can be understood at all, she likes to entertain others with a sense of humour usually described by friends as “hilarious—once you get to know her.”