But since my name changed to Mom my annual end-of-year plans to become a better person have transformed into resolutions to be a better parent. I figure I'll work on being a better human in general again when my kids are 18.
This year, though, I'm scrapping the parental New Year's resolutions of the past: Don't yell at the kids. Play more. Don't compare. Say yes more (to the kids). Say no more (to everyone else).
Those are great ideas, really, but as my kids get older (and more numerous), I've also gotten lazier. Or maybe the right word is efficient. Either way, my resolutions this year will play to my natural slothfulness.
Try out lazy parenting. Did you know that's actually a thing?
It's essentially stepping back from your children, purposefully, to allow them the space to try things on their own and create independence.
A pat on the back to most parents I know; this is something we seem to do quite well.
Chatting with mom friends on park benches while our kids play is one of my favourite pastimes. But while taking care of a neighbour's cat recently, my almost-6-year-old daughter spotted a broom and giddily began to sweep their kitchen. I swear she took on a cheerful, Cinderella-like persona, gliding across the floor and crooning with cartoon mice and birds. And she didn't do a half-bad job either.
My response was a mix of shock and mock anger: Why has she never done this at home?
I'll wager a guess and admit it's because I'd worry that she was making a bigger mess and brush her attempts aside.
This year, I plan on (time and patience permitting) allowing the kids to crack the eggs, letting my 2-year-old put his own pants on even if it takes all day, and generally (and intentionally) curbing my instincts to step in.
Lazy parenting may be a misnomer; it sounds like it takes serious restraint and mental energy. But the benefits to the kids can be numerous, so I plan to give it a try. If you need me, I'll be on the couch.The Washington Post