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There is a running joke in my house that we’ve got our daughter Maddison “well trained”. For example, after a diaper change, she throws away her own dirty diaper. When she’s done eating a snack she will run and put her dirty bowl in the dishwasher. And for some reason she loves to help me with the laundry and vacuuming. Not to sound like I’m talking about my dog, but we’ve trained her to be a pretty independent baby and it got me thinking… Parenting is all about the proper training.

One of my biggest goals as a parent is that my children be capable of taking care of themselves. This includes being able to do their laundry, to know their way around a kitchen, be able to fix a detached button on their shirt, and how to drive a stick shift. Not only that, but it applies to both boys and girls. I want my daughters to be able to check their own oil and my sons to be able to make a mean lasagna. You may say that as parents we have plenty of time to teach them all of this, but with the birth of my son, I see how quickly that time goes by. It flies by like the roadrunner being chased by Wiley coyote!

It makes me even happier knowing that we are starting our “training” so young because truthfully, now is the time to start! Why wait for your kid to be a toddler to use a utensil and feed themselves, Maddi has been using a fork since she turned one and it is such a blessing for us as parents to be able to enjoy our dinner with her instead of letting our food grow cold because we feed her first. It is also such a great feeling to watch your child actively learning to do something, it just fills my heart with such joy and pride for my kids!

So while we may be joking when we say we have Maddison “well trained”, the truth is, I hope I’m able to train all of my kids to be the independent adults they deserve to be. It’s our job as parents to prepare them as much as possible for life on their own, which is right around the corner.