Some days, she comes inside the house sweaty from playing under the sun and I'd just simply instruct her to change her clothes and she would come out of the bedroom fresh. On weekend mornings when I would wish to sleep in for a few more minutes and her neighborhood friends are already calling for her to come out and play, I would just instruct her to brush her hair and put on a pair of shorts and she'd be out the door looking decent (and yes as if Mommy fixed her up first).
She can brush her own hair, fix her own snacks (a simple sandwich and warm milk usually), eat on her own, fill up her water bottle and replace it in the fridge. When we go out, I already assigned her to prepare her backpack and she would make sure she brings her necessities - a pack of wipes, a handkerchief or towel, a bottle of water, biscuits/crackers/cookies, a notebook and a pen, a toy.
Many parent friends have asked me how I trained my kid to be such a responsible and obedient kid. Sometimes I ask myself that too. I never followed any particular parenting philosophy but my own. I do read parenting articles from time to time. But only to get fresh insights but now never to look for tips. I have come to accept that my kid is unique on her own and I should pattern my parenting to her personality. One thing my husband and I have always stuck on to though was being firm and consistent. We have rules in the house and even as adults, we are not exempted from those rules. We try to be firm and consistent even to ourselves. We try to be the best models we can be. We try our hardest to walk the talk.
At 5 years and a half my little girl believes she can do almost anything I ask of her. She is also a very strong willed little girl. But I always remind myself not to forget that she's still a kid. And there are tasks that can still remain inappropriate for her age no matter how invincible she thinks she is. I am still the parent after all. That I very well know I should never forget.
And this note here -- a note that I wrote one low day four years ago, when I was feeling so guilty and neglectful of my motherhood duties. To this day, this note is still stuck on my kid's study wall. "LISTEN, OBEY, RESPECT"
There are of course other values that I have been trying to teach her to imbibe but these three words are one of the first words she learned to utter and I'm glad they were.