Monday, May 30, 2011

How I Let My Preschooler TP the Bathroom.

My 3-year-old always wants to help. We all know Preschooler Help usually means extra work for Mommy...hello, water on the floor. again.

Yet, the trade-off (I keep reminding myself!) is that these opportunities teach her initiative, how to work hard, and to have a servant's heart.

It can be challenging to find manageable tasks for a 2- or 3-year old, especially when they want to do big jobs they see an older sibling trusted with. But it's sweet to see that the simplest little things are very satisfying accomplishments for her! Her Important Job...that she takes Very stacking the toilet paper in the bathroom cabinet.

The average adult could do this in 42 seconds. For a preschooler with limited efficiency skills, this is a good 15-minutes of work. She typically opens the new TP package in the next room and then brings one roll at a time to the bathroom and stacks them meticulously. It's exhausting to watch, and yes, another opportunity for teaching...the subject of Time-Saving Tips!

Some other jobs that she helps with include: emptying the silverware rack from the dishwasher, wiping down baseboards with a damp rag, collecting the trash bags from bathrooms, folding clean washcloths and towels, bringing her laundry hamper to the laundry room, putting away some groceries/toiletries after shopping trip, folding the dinner napkins and setting the table.

As I try to welcome my kids' offers of help and allow them to share in the work, I am sometimes tempted to fix things after they finish and run off to play. A mentor once challenged me to NOT redo a job after my child's not-exactly-perfect-attempt. They will notice! If I re-make their bed or re-fold the towels, I send them the message that their best isn't good enough. I thought that was such great advice.

Someday my linen closet will have flat, neatly stacked towels again. Right now, a little lumpy is just fine!

How about your home...what chores do your little ones like to help with? Any creative jobs that you have given to them??

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