Monday, February 23, 2015

Allowing our children to 'do it yourself'

Parenting and family life seems to come hand in hand with busyness and chaos. I like to think I live in a kind of organised chaos - my brain just often works faster than my physical (and time) capacity to get things done!

So put into that a gorgeous two year old who has found independence in dressing herself...Or a four year old who insists she can roll and cut the pie pastry herself and you have to decide how important these experiences are for your child compared with the extra time that particular task may then take! 

Miss Daisy enjoyed lining up at the cafe at the hardware store last week. I watched her as she tapped her toe, waiting for the cashier to make the man in front of her his coffee. As she tut tutted him for taking so long! *blush* And I watched on as she passed the lady her juice, followed by the money.
It actually gave me great joy to watch her do this for herself. Something that I could've rushed to do myself but by allowing her to do it she gained skills and confidence. She had to work out how to open the big fridge, carry her goods and money to the desk and line up, listen as she was called, follow the cashiers instructions and then bring her change and juice back to me at the table. And the glowing smile on her face was proof that those experiences were invaluable.

Little Peppa is really enjoying cooking. She'll request to make scones almost every day! And if she so much as hears a mixing bowl and spoon touch she's running into the kitchen and asking 'What are we making?' and 'Can I do it!?' Yes, of course you can!

Cooking is one of our favourite things to do together. And the girls are getting real good at it. They can identify so many ingredients, kitchen utensils and also orally explain the method for cooking some of their favourites! 
Cooking is fabulous because it's also how we bless our neighbours. We love to make cookies, scones or slice for delivering to our school age neighbours for afternoon tea. Or we sometimes make double dinners where we cook for ourselves and double the recipe so we can deliver dinner to a neighbour as well. (and dessert!)

Another area where the girls often take the reins is in their play and creative pursuits. Here Miss Daisy wanted to be like her Poppa and so she drew her own 'still life' drawing of the vase of flowers she picked. 
The large blue area is the water in the vase, and you can see the flowers carefully drawn above. 
For some reason she then drew the peach tree with all it's leaves over the top of it. I didn't know why. I didn't particularly think it was relevant. But she wanted to draw it there, so I didn't speak.

Then when she was done she explained to me that because the vase would go on the windowsill she drew the peach tree behind the vase because that's what's out the kitchen window! Amazing!

I want to live these moments often. To be less rushed, not to feel less rushed but to be less rushed. To allow a task to take an extra 5 minutes or an extra 15 minutes because those precious minutes are so valuable and so cherished by these beautiful children of mine!

Do you think it's important to allow children to 'do it yourself?'


Here are some great posts from some of my favourite bloggers on why allowing our children to do things for themselves is so important:

Kate from Living Loving Laughing wrote this lovely post about her daughter making her own lunches

Kate from Peaceful Parents Confident Kids wrote these great posts about

Kate from An Everyday Story has written

Kate from Picklebums wrote about

Danya from Danya Banya recently wrote this interesting post 
- should I let my daughter cut her doll's hair which is food for thought

I will add more to here as I find them but I know there are so many wonderfully written posts on this in blog land to inspire you! :)