Sunday, October 18, 2015

Parenting Game Changer: Letting Your Kids Help

I love doing projects with my kids, whether it's cooking, building, assembling, constructing, or gardening. As I started a project this past week with and for my son, I started to wonder why I enjoy projects with my kids. Why do I enjoy building furniture with my kids when it takes so much longer with their help? Why is gardening fun with them when I could do it so much more quickly without them? Why is making pancakes more enjoyable when they are creating such a mess? And now is confession time - in the moment these things are not always a lot of fun, and I often don't have the most patience with my kids. So why do I do it? Why do I make my projects more difficult by asking and insisting that my kids participate with me?

1) My kids can learn practical skills. They can learn how to hammer, drill a hole, measure flour, or spread manure. I can teach them how to measure twice, cut once, and then trim, trim, trim until a piece of wood is just the right length. I can teach them tool safety, kitchen safety, and any other kind of safety possible.

2) My kids can teach me patience. It is easier
when I can move at my own speed with any project, but having my kids with me helps me slow down and work on patience.

3) My kids learn to participate in my world, just as I participate in their world when I play with them. As a family, we love doing things together, and for my kids, that means doing things that are important to mommy and daddy just as we do things that are important to them.

4) I enjoy spending time with them. Sure, this is an easy answer. I love spending time with my kids, and having them help me with projects is a way to double dip - get something done while spending time with them. There's nothing wrong with leveraging time, is there?

5) I love them. The times when I am working on something with my kids and their eyes sparkle, they giggle, or they get excited about putting a nail into the peg board, these are the times that I live for.

Is it easy to have my kids participate in every project? No, it really isn't. But is it worth it? Absolutely.

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