Our oldest daughter is now 11 years old, which seems hard to belief, and is in the sixth grade.
Her school bus arrives at 7:30 a.m. each day – much earlier than the elementary kids’ bus she used to ride at 8:50 a.m.
So every morning she and I are up around the same time to start our routines for our respective days. Part of her routine is making her own lunch and breakfast.
But periodically she’ll get jammed up with her other responsibilities (e.g. deciding to shower in the morning rather than the night before, finishing up a homework assignment, etc…) that jams up her ability to accomplish her other tasks such as making lunch.
Little Things Lead to Big Things
Our reason for having our kids assume responsibility for these types of tasks is that if they can be trusted handling the “small things” such as making lunch choices or time management decisions, they’ll be ready to make better decisions when they’re older – leading toward their independence.
However, we also want to help them and demonstrate the value of having people in life who love and assist them.
So when Taylor is under a “time crunch” I’ll help her out and make her lunch and breakfast on those time-compressed days.
She’s had two such unusual mornings during the past two week stretch.
The Crusty Question
Here’s the issue – both times while I’ve been making her sandwiches for school I’ve had to ask myself whether or not I should cut off the crust.
Neither of our daughter’s like the crust of store-bought bread, which is odd since they love toast and I’ve often made the argument to them that toast is an entire piece of crust (but that’s a separate blog post all its own).
Regardless we’ve always cut the crust off their sandwiches to help entice them to eat.
Up until recently, we’ve always done that. But while making her lunches the other days – I questioned whether I should continue doing that.
A Parenting Microcosm
As parents, we believe that part of the maturation process is helping our kids understand that they can’t always get what they want at the exact time they want it.
That understanding and knowing how to deal with that reality is a necessary part of being a functioning adult.
As such, I decided to leave the crust on both sandwiches – not because I was too lazy but because I thought it would be a teachable moment.
This is more than a silly issue about bread crust and finicky eating – it’s actually a parenting-style microcosm. We think it’s correct and proper, but I’m curious what other parents think.
Question: Should parents allow kids to experience”contrived” disappointments to inoculate them against the real, unforeseen challenges that life will provide in full measure?