Letting children help is, in my experience, difficult. I'm frequently in a hurry, and children slow everything down. Besides taking longer, they never seem to do things the way I want them done. It is really tempting to just push them aside. However, several wise sources have encouraged me to let my children help. Because right now, they love to do that. They love being a part of what I'm doing, and are actually eager to lend a hand. And sources tell me, this doesn't last if it isn't encouraged. You can't say no all the time now, and think that when they are big enough to be useful THEN you'll let them help. Then, it will be like pulling teeth to get them to work, unless you have taught them before that, that working can be fun. They'll only learn this by helping you now, in a joy-filled atmosphere, and seeing their efforts praised and appreciated. This is what I've been told. I'm trying to listen:
Monkey #1 asked if he could cut up the sausage for dinner the other night. And you know what? He did a really good job. And I managed to get other things done, while he finished that for me. All of a sudden, he's at an age where his help is actually...helpful (sometimes!). I'm not sure when it happened, but I'm grateful for those who encouraged me to anticipate this day by letting him "help" me when it very much wasn't the case.
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