How many times have you started sweeping the floor, prepping dinner, or unloading the dishwasher, only to have your child rush over to join in.
Depending on the situation, it can either be adorable and fun or... a little frustrating, when you're in a rush to finish the task. I've been there, you just want to sweep up the spilled cereal and you've got a one year old grabbing the broom out of your hands.
It's a balancing act between including them, teaching them, and supporting their independence, while also trying to get through a never ending to-do list.
Here's the tricky part.
It's tempting to take for granted your child's interest in helping around the house.
You might think, when they're older, more coordinated, more careful, THEN I'll let them help.
But when we shoo children out of our work spaces for too long, they're eventually going to get the message that they don't belong there.
They come to believe that their role in the family is to play outside or build forts while mom or dad do the housework.
But listen, I'm not here to guilt you. Work and family often leaves me with little time and patience by the end of the day.
What I tell myself is that perfection is not the goal. NOT EVEN CLOSE.
You don't have to be the perfect Montessorian and not every task around the house has to be a 'teachable moment'.
Just do the best you can.
The more we support our children's interest in helping now, the easier it will likely be when they're older to get them to help around the house.
Child-Sized Materials Can Help
It can be helpful to give your child their own cleaning and cooking materials. Not only does it make it easier for them to effectively use these tools, but it also leaves yours free to use :)
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