During my teaching days, I remember each week changing my helpers on my special helper chart. And how each week my students would be so excited to be chosen for a job. I remember how tempting it was as a teacher to choose the student who kept her desk pristine and clean to be the ‘Housekeeper’ and to choose the person with the immaculate writing to be the ‘Whiteboard Monitor.’ However, when I would choose a person with awkward and far-from-perfect penmanship to be the ‘Whiteboard Monitor’ , that student would be extra excited to be chosen for such a role and strive to write neater on the board. To be honest, my teacherly insides would cringe when my ‘Housekeeper’ would forget about a big dust pile, or when my ‘Whiteboard Monitor’ wrote the date in an upward scrawl. Similarly, as a mother, with Z it is easy to only give her jobs that she can do well, but when you give children jobs that may be challenging, they do get excited, and it makes it worth it (a great article about that here). The job will be done in a childlike quirky manner and won’t be perfect, but then who is perfect?
Also, I’m loving our lazy pajama days and trying to savor them. Next year I am not sure if Z will be going to school full-time or part-time. Sometimes getting out of the house can be work, so it’s nice to just be at home and enjoy pajamas, messy hair buns, and enjoy girly accessories.
I agree about giving kids jobs even if they can’t do them perfectly (despite also being an inward cringer sometimes 😛 lol). When I used to be in a lead position at work, one of my former bosses told me if I believe in what people can do and demonstrate that to them, they will rise to meet my expectations. This worked very well for me over the years and some people who others considered difficult to deal with did amazing work for me. So with my son I try to do this as well (within reason by age, of course you have to adjust your expectations to what is possible, but challenging). For instance when he helps sort laundry, a while ago I gave him the task of folding towels, napkins, and other rectangular items that need to be folded to go into a drawer. He was a bit frustrated with it, having to line things up, and while I didn’t rave about them, I tried not to micromanage, saying he was doing a good job and giving tips if he asked. A month or so later we were at a fabric store, and he struck up a conversation (as he often does) with the clerk. As she measured and folded the fabric, he complimented her on her folding and asked if she liked folding. He added that he was a folder himself and quite good at it! I was secretly delighted and surprised that he saw himself as an expert folder (laundry sorting wasn’t exactly a favorite task of either of us), but noting afterwards the pride he took in it I was really glad I let him do it and become the master of it, he got pretty good and felt enthusiastic about it and accomplished, probably helped by me suppressing my inclinations to perfect it early on.
this is a great story! My 3 year old really enjoys folding (mostly when in the mood!), but it’s so nice to see the kids excel at something that may be challenging.