The latter has been seeing a child psychiatrist since middle of last year, after waiting five months to get into our children's hospital. There are not a lot of child psychiatrists in Japan beating the pavement looking forjobs apparently because when I wanted to get my elder child into see one for reasons I may go into in a later blog, I found that there is now a nine month wait for new patients. But anyway...back to the topic of the day.
I want to talk about my inability to decide when and how much to stop doing for my kids and how to get them to do it for themselves. I don't want to rehash my childhood here, but I was raised by a single mom most of the time and I basically had no chores. Nor do I recall ever having an allowance. What my mother taught me about money was that we mostly did not have enough of it. What I did not learn at home was anything about budgeting, saving or spending wisely. I got my first part-time job at 15, but that is a little bit of a late to start learning about financial responsibility IMO. I want my kids to know considerably more than I did when they leave home.
So what is my problem? Why don't I/we just decide on what chores, when, how much allowance and make it happen? Here is a short list of excuses:
1. I/we have not found a system we want to use and stick with.
2. I am living in a house full of children and I'm one of them.
3. It's easier to do it myself than to change the plan.
I remember my mother saying that the one mistake she had made was in not having me do things myself. And this from a woman with an advanced degree in child psychology. I agree with her. I was an introvert and had some issues with feeling powerlessness, and having a parent do most everything for me because it was easier and faster did not help. And thing is...I'm not parenting much different than how I was raised.
But today is a good day to start making a change. It's the first day of Spring Break, the end of the school year for kids in Japan. My husband is going to be working from home from tomorrow. No more commuting. And I read a blog today that brought up all these longings I have had to do better for my kids.
So even though I did not start out with this intention, I am going to admit that posting this publicly will give me a little motivation. Don't know what the plan is, but I am going to look for ideas and try to assemble and start to implement something we can all work within the next 10 days. I will report back. If you have any resources, ideas or opinions, please comment here or on the FB page. If you were raised to be independent and self-sufficient and/or you are doing it with you kids, I would love to hear about your experience.