The "balancing act" is a HUGE part of raising up lil' ones! Today I don't want to focus so much on balancing personal time between each kid or balancing between being a mommy & accomplishing the many other tasks of running a household, but instead I want to talk about raising your kids to be well-balanced between being independent & dependent.
I have seen both extremes of kiddos.
1st the child that "can't do anything". This is the child that the parents have tended to enable & coddle. Usually the youngest, the baby, but it could also be evident in the oldest or middle children. Of course a parent would not do this on purpose, but it is very easy to do. Cleaning up their messes after them instead of having them try to do it themselves, answering for them instead of letting them talk for themselves, constantly babying them when their barely even get hurt, never having them play independently, letting them get away with more then they should, & the list goes on. Those kids will tend to be whiners & their favorite words will more than likely be "I can't do it!" & "But it's too hard!". I remember my mom telling me even before I had kids about how important it is to not do everything for your kid. If it is something they can be responsible for & do it for themselves, then let them. I have said it before & I will say it again, it is VERY important to teach your kids from a very young age to clean up after themselves. Yeah, it is a whole lot easier for you to clean up the playroom & much faster, but it is important for them to try. I also have my kids clear the dinner table by scraping off their plates, putting them in the sink, wiping down the table, & also helping me sweep up the floor. My husband & I have them throw their dirty clothes in the hamper & they even "help" me do the laundry. Empowering your kids & helping them realize that they are capable is a good thing, but they do also need to realize sometimes they will need help.
The other child is the overly independent 1 who never wants help, wants what they want when they want it, hates to share, always wants to be "the boss", & it is always their way or the highway. This child can be created when you don't teach your child the importance of sharing and compromise or the fact that sometimes they will have to wait & be patient or do things that they would rather not do. This child tends to be the oldest or only child, but can also definitely be the middle or baby. My toddler is working through this stage a little to the extent that she wants to try & do everything herself, "I can do it". That is all fine & dandy sometimes, but sometimes this assertiveness can also come off as attitude & needs to be nipped in the bud REAL fast. She likes to dress herself & try to put on her own shoes, but sometimes I have to remind her that there are some things like pouring her milk or cutting her fruit that she has to rely on mommy or daddy to do.
As I said, its all a balancing act & their is a constant need to refine & fine tune different things in our children & in our parenting, but we CAN do it!