Am I an Enabler?

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"Mom, you forgot to pack my snack!"

“No…YOU forgot to pack your snack.” This is what I told my 6 year old in response to his accusation. We have a routine before school. This year I bought him an alarm clock so he would wake up on his own. It has an annoying beep that he cannot ignore. It sure beats me going back and forth calling him to see if he is out of the bed yet. He turns off the alarm and proceeds with what he has to do. Fortunately he hasn’t learned to hit snooze yet. When he has done everything, I remind him about packing his snack; if he forgets, that is on him.

There are still a lot of Mommy things I do for my baby boy… but enabling him – well I’ll try not to do that. He learned how to tie his shoes before school started. I decided I would have him tie his shoes and then I would reinforce them with a double knot. I had well meaning intentions and I was happy to do that for the rest of the school year. However, my husband taught him the double knot in less than 30 minutes so my son didn’t need me for that anymore. When we were in a store recently, I was hot, tired and ready to get home but he needed to tie his shoe. I wanted to rush and tie it for him but I stood by patiently while he took his time doing it himself. That was a lesson for the both of us. He needs to know that HE can do it in a rushed situation and I need to let him.

We have taken a giant leap from this time last year when he wore Velcro shoes and I did everything for him getting ready for Kindergarten. This year he wants to know why he has to do everything. I ask him if he would want one of his friends to see me brush his teeth. His nods “no” fully understanding; he’s growing up and he has responsibilities.

We do make his bed together on weekdays since he started the school year wanting to sleep on top of the bedspread because what he had to do in the morning was “too much”.

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I left him this way for a couple of hours, but knew I wouldn't sleep well wondering if he was too cold. So I fixed him. Mommy put him under the covers.

One of the last things he has to do each morning is pack his “snack time” snack in his book bag. Aside from teaching him to do for himself, I would rather he handle the snacks. For my benefit, the snacks are strategically kept “out of sight, out of mind”.

Here’s the thing…I’m not packing the snacks because I would be enabling my junk food addiction. I’ve been known to eat a handful of cheese balls at 6am because I had to “handle” them. When that happens, I usually have Doritos for breakfast.

Sporadically Yours,

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