You’ve heard that play is a child’s work.  But I’m here to remind you that work can also be a child’s play.

As parents, we often separate and stress about all the activities we need to get done versus all the “fun activities ” we also need to squeeze in to busy schedules to entertain the kids.

But I started to think about this as I was shopping this weekend at the supermarket.  I noticed children from practically every age group engaged in “helping” to fill the basket, to push the cart, to squeeze the avocados, run for the milk, grab the cereal box, remind about needing to buy the cake mix. These children were busy, engaged and enjoying themselves.

So think about it.

When we take our children’s help seriously, when their competence is valued, our work gets done, our “together time” improves, our accomplishments are shared, and family “jokes” and memories are naturally created.  No age is too young to be included. And starting young is best.

Actually Fall is the perfect time to begin.  There’s often a lot to do – window cleaning, raking leaves, organizing the garage, getting bikes ready to store for the winter, flower pots and garden to put to rest, closets to attack, car to wash, snow blower to check out, rooms to vacuum and dust, Halloween decorations to put up – working together.

Oh, I realize it might seem like twice the work for parents to consider, yet offering these opportunities to your child to partner together, to be part of a solution has so many advantages. It’s how children begin to understand and assimilate their own identity and place in their family, their role and significance in it.

So – think about it.

Work and play – it’s a family thing.

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