Parents want what is best for their children. Often that shows up in doing too much for our kids; like the time I cut my daughter's food when she was old enough and able to do it herself. (insert an embarrassed face here).
Parent magazine and others call it helicopter parenting. Our intentions are good, but we need to 'land' and let our children take on responsibilities that match their ages and abilities.
Once young children can put on their socks, let them select their socks. True, one green and one purple may look odd, but letting them choose is a simple way to build their confidence in their ability to make decisions. As a grandparent, I can look back at that mismatch as cute. Today, as I assist in a local elementary classes, I see it as small steps in individualism from confident students.
Young children can also help clean-up their play things. With movable bins in tow, they may put toy cars with blocks and a dress-up hat, but why not? They may have a plan, a personal play agenda of coming back to build a track and race their cars and be the announcer. Ah, creativity in action!
It's hard to step back and wait knowing we could do it much faster. But, if we let kids take on responsibilities, we help them grow and become independent.