Sorry to Pop Your Bubble List, but…

One of the most amazing things about being a mom is the sisterhood you build with other moms. There is a strong sense of bonding and understanding – we are all in the trenches, day in and day out. We know we can count on one another for support. And, just like any other sisterhood, you make it known when someone messes up.

When I read Emily Mendell’s The Bubble List, I couldn’t help but shake my head. Mendell has formulated a list of skills she would like her sons to have by the time they move out.

Looks good, right?

Take a close look at the list. Buy clothes? Take the Subway? Call a doctor? Oh, boy. If children are being raised with such low expectations, I fear for the future.

Come on, mommas, let’s raise the bar a little. 

I think one of the most basic and essential parenting lessons is to teach your children to be self-sufficient. That encompasses shopping for and feeding himself, cleaning soiled clothes, maintaining a living space, and, of course, personal hygiene. This the bare minimum, for basic survival in a society where interpersonal relationships are commonplace. If kids can be potty-trained, they can be taught any one of these basic skills so long as the expectations are in place.

That’s the problem with parenting today. We’re not teaching our children how to do without us. We are holding on to every last hug, and cherishing the warm, fuzzy feeling of being needed. And, why not? A few short years ago our little babies needed us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And, then, in a blink of an eye, we’re lucky if we catch a glimpse of the back of their heads.

We will be doing a major disservice to our children if we spoon feed them and hold their hand through their formative years. A society of leaders and innovators cannot be built on a foundation of people who are getting gold stars for doing their laundry. Teaching your children to be self-sufficient is a start. But, let’s not make that the end goal. Let’s hope our children leave home understanding the importance of family, the value in failure, the role of perseverance, and the sheer satisfaction of hard work. It’s in our hands: let’s build a generation of innovative thinkers who will grow to be productive members of society.

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