Be 30x Less Efficient and Win as a Parent?
Yes, that’s right. This short post today provides some perspective and a practical information regarding how to slow down, take as much as 30 times more time to perform even the simplest of parenting tasks and come out ahead in the long run for both you and your child.
What I’m talking about is encouraging and challenging your child just enough (scientists say 104% of current ability is the sweet spot) to do more and more on their own. Then, take extra time and energy, in the short term, to teach and train your child to do something and do it the right way (this cultivates conscientiousness and appreciation for quality). If it takes 30x longer for a task to get done this way, you will come out ahead in the long run, and live a better life in the meantime.
For example, scientists have shown a link between chores as a child and success later in life. The science may be relatively new, but the principle isn’t. Our country was once an agrarian economy and more children meant more hands helping on the farm. Some would argue these children grew up grittier and much more self-sufficient than young people today.
This is a total win-win. Slow down and take the extra time and trouble to teach and train your children. Your child will learn self-sufficiency, discipline and even a little bit of disappointment and how to overcome it. You will free up time and energy.
One trap here is that as you teach your child to be more self-sufficient and delegate more and more responsibility to others, you might begin to feel empty or less valuable or necessary in your child’s life. You’re not gonna get that dopamine kick as you come in, solve a problem and become a hero for 5 minutes. Focus, rather, on the space you’re creating in your life to focus on higher level goals that will mean much, much more to your child and to you in the long run, e.g., developing a deep, personal relationship with your child rather than being a parenting taskrabbit. This will get you out of your comfort zone and that can be stressful, but, and this is key, you’re at your best when you’re growing at 104%, too.
So many of the committed parents and caring relatives we represent at Foxtrot are the “CEO” of their households, and the CEO isn’t sorting the mail at Boeing or Facebook, and, at some point, you shouldn’t be tying your child’s shoes or doing the dishes. Ask yourself, if my child buckles down just a bit, is this an opportunity for them to grow into a more independent and capable young lady or young man. If so, slow down, become much more inefficient in the short term and reap the rewards down the road.
Thanks for reading. If you have a specific situation or questions about the complex challenges of being a Co-Parent or Relative Caregiver, don’t hesitate to give us a call. If we can help you can book your consultation at https://www.thinkfoxtrot.com/public_calendars/ or we can refer to other specialists and professionals offering services right for you and your family. It doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger. Keep being a hero for your family! ~SW, Foxtrot