Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Though they come few and far between, the power of an "ah-ha moment" is life changing.  We are still reaping the benefits of my first one.

My most recent "ah-ha" was a bit more subtle, but none-the-less mind altering: all the "stuff" that we try to do on a daily basis to try to oversee how our children can keep their belongings organized, eat well, complete homework, mind manners etc. etc. etc., means nothing unless our children are an active part of the process.

Case in point: forever and always I prepared dinner on my own while the three kiddos were occupied. Post ah-ha?  Our two of "kitchen-age" trade off weekly between Chef and Sparkler (my desperate attempt at making clean up sound more fun).  The chef and I discuss dinner in advance, including what to serve, sides, drinks etc.  From start to finish they assist and have already learned so much it's mind boggling.  They ask to make menus, name the restaurant, pick plates, cups and more.  Now, when we are finished eating, the sparkler and I spend ten minutes rinsing and loading - with music, chatter, and even a few laughs - who knew!

If everything runs smoothly on a daily basis because someone "else" makes it so, then a child has no training or education in mandatory life skills.  Continuously taking the "quick fix" of straightening up or smoothing out on behalf of a child denies them the instruction they deserve. Though it's hard to imagine, they all grow up.  Ah-ha!

PS - Here's a few more for fun.


  1. Kimberley Darnall JohnsonOctober 24, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Great aha moment and story! My 4 and 6 yr olds help chop, stir, and taste but have never menu planned or done dishes. You've inspired me to grow their involvement. What age is a good one for cleaning up?

  2. Kudos for starting already! My oldest two are 9 and 7 - we are loving it. For the clean up, I try to have everyone clear their own plate and then we just clear what is left, scrape, rinse and load. Having them choose their songs on the ipad is a big help and I set the timer for 10 minutes. Enjoy!


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