I absolutely LOVE the idea behind the book: our kids need to learn a bunch of stuff during the 18 years they are with us, if they are to be ready to be adults when we boot them from the nest. The book is great in listing lots of things I didn't even think of when it comes to what my 12 and 16 year old daughters need to know before walking out our door.
They give us a 5-day experiment (which, by the way, was an incredible test of patience) in order to find what the girls can do, can't do and can do, but aren't willing to do.
Since the beginning of December, we've had weekly meetings in order for the girls to decide what they want to work on next so they can feel closer to being ready for adulthood. What I loved about it was the answer to my question: Why would the girls want to take on more responsibility? And, the answer was because it not only gives them a since of empowerment, but it also frees us, as parents, up to say "yes" more: yes to driving practice, yes to playing games, yes to shooting hops yes to running out and picking up something for them at the store.
I have great daughters (not perfect, but good kids), but during our Sunday night family meetings I could feel the eye-rolls that the girls were forcing themselves not to commit. They only chose a new area to tackle because they were "supposed to." They really weren't motivated to do this.
So, my wife and I reevaluated and decided that the girls didn't get enough say in what they should work on (although, they had all the say). They just didn't feel like they got to choose enough.
I absolutely think Duct Tape Parenting is spot on when it comes to it's ideas, but it didn't work with my girls because we started it too late. I recommend the book for parents of toddlers and little guys, but it's fighting an uphill battle with older children.
But, we haven't given up. We are now using the "Ready for Adulthood" checklist. It's a long list (six pages), but it's written directly to the child. And, it's a list of all the things that kids should be able to do before walking out of the house after 18 years. So, instead of us telling the girls they've mastered it or not, we are putting the list in their hands.
They read it and check off the items they can do. The ones left are the ones they can choose to work on, and we'll meet every week to see where they are. This time we won't tell them we agree or not with what they can or can't do. Again, it's ll in their hands. Hopefully, this empowerment will motivate them to move forward on their own.
I'll let you know.
image courtesy of ©MorgueFile.com/jdurham