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Following the Leader

Question

My girls, ages 6,5 and 3, prefer to follow me around during their free time. They just like to watch what I’m doing and talk and sometimes be involved in what I’m doing. I wonder if I should send them away more to go play or if this is fine. Most of the time I am okay with it and will talk with them while I’m busy, but sometimes they get in the way and other times I just second guess if they should be figuring out what to do with their time rather than just hanging out. Are they missing out on the opportunity to entertain themselves and be creative? Is this an easier thing for them to do so they don’t have to figure out what to do, or do most girls like to hang around Mom and see what she is doing? Thanks for the insight.

Answer

Hello, and thank you for your question. I think that if they are acting like little ducklings, and it doesn't bother or impede your progress, then you haven't a problem. They will learn a lot if they're helping you, and can even learn if they're just watching. Conversation is always a good thing and can become important teachable moments.

If you would rather they find ways to occupy their time that don't involve shadowing you, I suggest putting them all to work next time it happens. Simply explain that it's obvious to you that they need to be productively engaged, and so you have some tasks for them to complete, or they can choose to go off and play without your presence. Hopefully, your daughters have assigned chores. If those need to be done when they're following you then you can direct them to complete their chores instead of following you as you complete yours.

Remember that you are their leader, and it's up to you to lead them down the paths that will help them grow and learn and eventually successfully emancipate. Keep your eye on that goal.

Warmly,
Wendy Faucett
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach
wendyfaucett@gmail.com

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