This week, I was constantly reminded that there are times as a parent (…or aunt, grandmother, big sister, teacher, or mentor) when investing the extra time into helping a child learn how to do something is just as important as the actual outcome of the task itself.
As we reach the peak of our holiday production prep (yep, we're already making stuff for the holidays!), Robert and I have been working hard to help our boys, ages 5 and 3 1/2, feel like they are a part of the action.
But that comes with a price: time.
This week, that prep involved cutting and stamping 700 bars of soap. And, while we knew it would take quite a bit longer to have them help us, we let our boys learn how to work the soap cutter.
They loved it.
By the end of yesterday, we had levels upon levels of neatly cut, freshly-stamped molecule soap, and our boys had each earned a few dollars.
Elijah was particularly proud.
And I'll freely admit: there were moments when I thought I might lose my sanity. I can't even count the number of times I said, "Hold on!" or "Slow down..." or "Not yet!" or "It's not a race."
But there were also numerous times when our younger boy, Isaac, looked with pride upon the soap and declared, "I cut that!" It was clear that both of them felt invested in the process and the outcome.
This is really important, because it means that, for them, Handcrafted HoneyBee is more than just something that mom and dad do—or, even more importantly, something that takes away from our time with them.
Rather, it's something that they do, too. It's something that leaves them feeling empowered and impressed.
Work isn't something to dread. It's an opportunity to embrace their potential…to learn what they are capable of accomplishing.
I have to remind myself of this, over and over, when something takes an hour to do with them instead of fifteen minutes. Because realizing their incredible capability is one of the most important lessons they can learn.
Every child should have the chance to be amazed by themselves.
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