I’m pretty sure I might have said this before ( but I’m going to say it again) how much I love being in the midst of children working side-by-side, actively involved on a project with adults.
That’s the way it was on Friday afternoon as a group of parents and their school-aged children showed up to work on ornaments for The Parenting Place Rotary Lights Tree – painting, glittering, cutting, stuffing, cleaning up, hauling.
There was a determined and focused energy present to accomplish our united task at hand – to interact, to laugh, to listen, to be a part of a larger group, to feel empowered, useful and competent.
There was even an infant in the group who slept, observed, smiled and welcomed any passing-by-attention offered but did not demand any of it. It was as if even she knew she was a significant part of the group, that she belonged, and she was satisfied with her job just being in the midst of our work – watching.
Earlier that day in the morning, a middle schooler helped me in the Childrens’ Room preparing for Trick or Treating day at Play Shoppe. It was the same with this young girl who amazes me with her clear, take-charge ability to creatively problem solve and follow through independently to get the job she’s working on done.
Do any of these children love to clean their rooms and keep track of their school supplies and hang up their jackets and put away their backpacks and other everyday monotonous chores?
Like any of us – probably not. But faced with an offer to be taken seriously, to have their opinion heard, to try something new, to be included and you’ll see, I believe, their initiative, their competence, their industriousness – their zest – show up – and what a delight that is!
Keep that in mind when doling out chores at home. Is it time to recognize, up the ante and ask more of our child’s maturing abilities to plan and figure things out and make a contribution they will feel good about?
Try it and see.
Thank you to all who helped!