Everyone loves riding downhill because it takes minimal effort to enjoy the thrill of speed.  You just hang on and let gravity do the work.  In fact, it is human nature to figure out how to get more from less effort.  It is called efficiency and it is the inspiration for most of the modern conveniences we enjoy today.  Cars save us from walking everywhere. Stoves save us from having to build fires.  The reality is that life cannot be all downhill.  You cannot enjoy flying down a hill until you first ride up that same hill.  The reality is that efficiency is not free.  It comes from the investment of a specific kind of work.

A common theme I see in working with parents is how getting their children through daily routines feels like constantly going “uphill”.  They are frustrated and tired and they long to reach the point where their child can get through these routines independently – that place where they can stop peddling and just coast for a bit.  The reality of these situations is usually two-fold.  Parents are expecting their child to climb too big of a hill and parents are investing in the wrong type of work to drag their child to the top of that hill by nagging, screaming, or threatening punishment.

My first task is to help parents determine the right size hill for their child – meaning to start with the minimum expectations.  Then, we develop a support process that ensures the child gets to the top every time.  This repeated success allows the child to build endurance and confidence and, in time, prepares them for a bigger hill of increased expectations.

What hill is your child climbing right now?

Chaos Free Family participants can learn more about this concept in the Progressive Independence lesson. Click here to join the Chaos Free Family.

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