Have I ever mentioned how much I love to put my kids to work?
Really. I love it. From the day they were old enough to have a chore, I gave them one. As soon as the day came that they were able to help me do something, they got to learn how to do it on their own. Yes, it always takes a bit longer to reach the goal, but the look on their face as they begin to realize that they were the ones that got the job done. The look is priceless. The feeling they get when they know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was they that made that bed, or cleaned that tub, or made that lunch....it just empowers them. They feel like they can take on the world.
I remember the first time that K made cookies on her own. She had the recipe out, the ingredients all ready to go, the oven preheated...the whole deal. She was so proud of herself when she pulled that first tray from the oven. I, as the mama, was even more proud. See, I believe that work is something you learn how to do. And when you teach your kids how to do it you are preparing them for their life as an adult. Giving them the skills they need to know in order to navigate themselves thru many situations, but also giving them the invaluable gifts of pride and dedication and self worth. Letting them see that they can do things on their own. Letting them see that mistakes will be made, but that they can also be corrected and learned from. So that next time, the job may go a little easier.
As my kids navigate thru the day there are few things that they ask for help with. They would rather try it out themselves and see if they can do it first. Then, after they have tried a few times to get things right, well, then they may ask if I can give them any suggestions. Any helpful hints on how to get the job done.
This weekend was one of those real proud mama moments. The kids asked if they could go out and help S build the fence for the backyard. By all means, I say, knock yourself out. I have to say I was almost on the verge of some tears to see the kids using the power tools all on their own and working together so easily. Talking things thru when they saw a potential problem.
It made my day. It made all those times that things took just a little bit longer so worth it. So very worth it.
8 hours ago