Too Stupid to Remember?!?

One of the many many things I hear in my counseling practice from families all across West Michigan is the struggle to get their kids to take responsibility.  Do this, do that, remind, remind, remind.  We all fall into this trap as parents.  We hope our kids get it right the first time, and when they don’t, we remind them. We remind for many reasons.  We remind them because we just figured they forgot.  We remind because we’re so busy that sometimes we forget.  We do it because we are hoping our kids will take care of something so we don’t have to follow up with a consequence.  We do it because we think our kids are too stupid to remember.  …Wait…what?!?!  What did I just say?!?  No!  I don’t think my kid is stupid.  That is really offensive!  How could I say that?  And yet…. Do I believe my child is stupid?  Do you believe YOUR child is stupid?  I’m  hoping the answer is a resounding “NO!”  I’m hoping that you believe in your child just like I believe in mine.  Yet if we look at our actions, how often do we communicate to our kids, through deeds, through constant reminders, that we think they’re too stupid to remember? My simple encouragement?  Believe in your kid enough to stop reminding them. Believe in them enough to follow through with consequences the first time they forget something that was supposed to get done.  Remembering, like playing piano, is a skill that gets honed through practice.  Its a muscle that must be worked-out in order to get strong.  And the only practice, the only workout that makes it stronger is failure, followed by consequences, followed by another attempt at it.  But to do this, I first have to stop reminding.  Your kids have it in them to succeed.  Do you have it in you to take the first step towards responsibility and stop reminding them?