I have fairly easy to raise kids - I am aware of this and feel lucky to be able to say that. However, they are kids and that means no matter how easy it may seem for the most part it is still going to come with challenges.
My boys have to read on weekends, now most of the time they want to read and they like to read, but there are times when on weekends between activities and their just general I need a break from school moments when I have to poke and prod to get them to do it and then complete the reading logs they are assigned for the weekend.
One of the things I spoke with my older son about this weekend when he reluctantly completed the reading log was success. Rather than bug him about doing it I thought it was a good moment to talk about success. It does not matter what he will choose as a career path but I do want him to be successful in it and more than this I want him to want to be successful at it.
I spoke to him how his Dad could impose rules, how I could explain my expectations and how he had to get through assignments that he may or may not like in school but success was on him because we could not do it for him. I shared with him how I had prepped during the weekend for a meeting I had on Monday because even after all my years at work my success at any given project is dependent on my working toward it. We talked about how both his father and I are self made people - my parents worked hard to make sure they gave me an education, I worked hard to have a scholarship through college and his father paid for his own college tuition. All of this because we had ideas and dreams of what we wanted to accomplish. I still have goals that have not yet been met but I am working on them.
I wanted to have him take responsibility for his own success not to do it because we were asking it of him but rather because he demands it of himself.
I love doing things for my kids but I think one of the best things I can try and do for them as their mother is to teach them to value of wanting to accomplish something, working toward it and then celebrating achieving it.
I can't make them successful but I can make them want to be and value it. I want to make them into people who take responsibility for their losses, their mistakes and enjoy their wins. It is a conversation I am sure we will repeat because after all they are still quite young ... but nothing tastes as sweet as success after you have busted your butt to achieve it.