All Images by Ryan Price Photography
I’ve recently written about this, but since Kerrington was a baby I have always been one to talk to her like she was an adult, and simply explain to her various tasks that I was doing. I also tell her why I am doing whatever it is that I am doing.
Now that she is getting older I am a firm believer that letting her “help”, even if it takes a bit longer to achieve any given task, is essential to teaching her life skills while cultivating a sense of responsibility that I pray will grow in her little heart as she grows.
I used to be adamant about quiet time in God’s Word and workouts needing to be done before she ever woke up in the mornings because otherwise they just wouldn’t get done, and I really needed both to get done to be fueled for the long day of mommin’ to come.
While I do still utilize my First 5 app from Proverbs 31 in the mornings as soon as I wake up, I now let her play and watch me while I work out. I also pull out my Write the Word Journal when we are playing instead of waiting to do it while she naps.
I want to teach Kerrington by example. The only way I can that is to give her the opportunity to watch me, help me, and for me to give her the space to learn on her own.
I want her to see me faithfully open my Bible along with my Write the Word journal each day and hear me read the scriptures over her. To know that we really need Jesus every minute of every hour. Keep reading for an exciting giveaway!
I want her to watch me while I work out, and take care of my self and body. Even if it means trying to focus while she crawls underneath me while I am trying to do push-ups, or twist back and forth yelling, “twist mama!” while I am doing Russian twists, or encourage me to “run mama” when we are out for a walk, and I don’t want to run!
I want her to see me washing dishes, and know that she can always sit on the counter with and wash too, and it’s “no big deal” to get water everywhere on accident, and to know that we “wash dishes with hot water!” because it gets them cleaner.
I want her to see her daddy and I working together on various projects (most recently, our floating shelf K built for me that just doesn’t sit right on the wall because it’s bowed) and to know we problem solve to figure it out together, not get frustrated.
I want her to continue to enjoy helping out with seemingly mundane tasks like laundry because I take the time and have patience while she goes and gets her dirty clothes from her room, asks to put them in the washer, gets excited to put them in the dryer, and then proclaims, “fold clothes today mama” like she did just a couple days ago. While also giving her reassurance when she folds the washcloths (read: bundle up in a ball!) but giving her praise for a job well done instead of correcting her.
I want her to grow up learning responsibility, while knowing we can have fun, make messes, pull all our babies and duplos out, but at the end of the day we pick up whatever it is that we got out to have fun with, and we tidy up.
I want her to know how to handle frustration by taking a deep breath because she sees us proactively handle stress and frustration by working through it, not screaming and throwing ourselves on the floor.
I love watching her sense of wonder doing what mama does, and wanting to do it as well.
For our family, we cultivate life lessons everyday by simply just having the patience to teach as we go through life, and provide room for learning and making messes.
I would love to bless one of you with a Write The Word Journal as well, to encourage you to teach your little(s) that there is always time for Jesus even with crying babies and tantruming toddlers!
Just leave a comment below on your favorite life skills you have taught your kids and I will choose a winner at random!
This was such a beautiful blog. My daughter, Emma is the same age as yours and everything you mentioned sounds so familiar yet so refreshing because I am going through some of the same things. It can be hard trying to get things done with a busy toddler, but I try to have the patience to let her “help” also. Whether it’s helping me fold clothes, or bringing in or putting up groceries. But so far the one that is my favorite is her catching on to being polite to others by saying “please”, “thank you” or “excuse me”. The other day at the grocery store as we were trying to get through the busy aisles, a lady was blocking our way out. As I asked her if we could pass, Emma said “excuse me” and once we passed she said “thank you” and of course I then thanked her myself. It was a proud moment! The lady was surprised herself.
I love this, Tamara, and I’m the a same way. I love including Taylor in my every day. Thanks for the reminder of how important it is even when it does take so much longer to get through each task! So far my favorite life skill I have taught her that I actually didn’t even know I was teaching her is kissing an injury and hugging the person who is hurt or crying! Sometimes she even pats you on the back if you’re upset (injury or from sleepiness, hormones, or even a sappy commercial, ha). She is just the sweetest to those who are in pain or upset!