As a parent, I have a policy. My policy is that I am not raising children, I'm raising adults. I expect a lot out of my kids, and most of the time, they rise to the levels of my expectations.
They clean their own rooms every night.
The imp makes his own breakfast, packs his lunchbox after I've made his sandwich, makes sure he has everything he needs in his backpack, and does for himself as soon as I get him to his classroom door.
The pixie, when we get to her classroom, hangs up her backpack and pulls her folder out. She keeps track of her own folder and hands it to her teacher as she goes into the classroom to find her seat, then starts on her seat-work.
Each of my children is responsible for their own choices and actions, and is responsible for the rewards and/or consequences they earn. And they know it.
Last Friday, the pixie forgot her folder on the bench where we wait for her classroom to open up. We got all the way to her classroom door before I noticed it, but when I did, I stopped her, reminded her that she'd forgotten her folder, and that she was the one responsible for it, not me. She chirped "Oh! Let me go get that!" and trotted off to go grab it.
I got a lot of weird looks from the parents dropping their kids off. One of them muttered, "She's only four!"
What I have seen with regards to how the other parents handle their four year old children rather...upsets and disgusts me.
I have not seen one single, other person that doesn't either carry their child's backpack for them, or strip the backpack off the kids' backs to hang it up, pull the folder, and hand the folder directly to the teacher.
What I want to know is this: do they expect their child to grow up to be a well-adjusted, responsible, functional member of society? And if so, how can they possibly expect that when they're teaching their kids that mom/dad/grandma/grandpa will do absolutely everything for them, leaving them with nothing that they, themselves, need to keep track of?
I refuse to do anything for my kids that they can do for themselves. And by doing that, I'm teaching them that they are responsible for themselves. By doing that, I'm teaching them that nobody owes them anything.
By doing that, I'm working to ensure that they grow up into independent, responsible, hardworking, functional adults.
33 minutes ago