I enjoyed writing this post in May 2016 and feel its worth sharing again:
Let the children lean in
It was simple advice but it was candid. A mother of six told a group of us new mothers, well worn from not sleeping with just one or two children, that one of the best things we can do as the children get older is to let them help us. We shouldn’t worry about how well they fold the socks, how well they clean the table, or clear the toys. The goal is to let them become involved in family life; let them be happily learning and let them get into the habit of pitching in as young as preschoolers.
When they are babies it’s hard to imagine them being able to assist but it’s a beautiful unfolding to watch three-year-olds try to wipe up their spill and pick up their toys. As we withhold judgment or too much correction, they get a beautiful sense of satisfaction from contributing and accomplishing something they set out to do. It was simple advice but some advice I have never forgotten and am grateful every day to have believed in as I watch my own children mature and lean in to making family life a team effort.