I didn’t understand my job!
16 years ago this weekend I had my son. I thought it was my job to keep him clean, healthy, fed, safe, and entertained. Eight and a half years ago I had my daughter and still thought much the same. The journey I’ve been on with her has shown me how very, very wrong I was!
It wasn’t my job to do these things for them! It was my job to help them learn to do these things for themselves! I’ve never more wished I could get a message back to my younger self.
My kids are awesome. They can be mouthy and have an attitude but generally they are fairly well behaved so I’ve never had to do a lot of discipline. But discipline is only part of my job. Teaching them life skills is something that I’m sad to say I’ve neglected.
I’m sure I have time to teach Riley what she needs to know. She may (or may not) always need a daily assistant but I believe she can be basically independent and put things like “pay the bills” and “take out the garbage” successfully into a routine.
On the other hand, I have a year and a half left with Tyler. He’s a teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome and he’s gifted. Not the funnest combination for a parent! He knows he’s smarter than me so why should he have to listen to me? Oh, it’s true. He’s never had an IQ test but he does have an annoying habit of getting perfect scores on standardized tests.
It could be a serious challenge getting through to him in time. I may not succeed. I may have let him skate by so long that he’ll have to crash & burn before he can start to learn. But I do know he’s going to be an amazing man one day. And the sooner the better!