Why your preschooler should clean out your car…

It took me 2 hours to clean out our two cars today. It should have taken 1 hour. Yet I didn’t lose any time. How’s that? I had help.

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Yes, because I had help, I did not lose any time, yet it took me twice as long to complete the task.  My 2 1/2 year old rotated turns with me vacuuming the cars out. And he was quite insistent on his turns lasting as long as my turns.  So often as parents, we are tempted to not let our tots help us around the house, whether we are cooking, sweeping, or cleaning the car. Why? Because we can do it a lot faster on our own.  But why are we so caught up in this rat race? Perhaps we hurry up to finish work so we can play. Yet, maybe that is the fault in our logic.  Maybe we should learn from our preschoolers that we can have fun working.

After teaching and being the headmaster of highschoolers for over a decade, student after student proved to me that work is no fun. Apparently they had matured, realizing the harsh truth of this world, to which preschoolers remain ignorant. Perhaps children grow up learning from parents that work is drudgery and Mondays suck.  And we labor through 40+ hours a week to get to do what we want to do after hours and on the weekend.

Hmmm. Research tells us that preschoolers love to explore and initiate.  By losing an hour today of my time, my son and I found great joy in a menial task. If I had rushed through cleaning the car, so I could then play with my kids, I would have missed 2 things: 1, I would have missed the fact that my son wanted to play through work, exploring how to use a really loud vacuum cleaner.  2. I would have missed out on an incredible lesson, I actually can have fun working.

Lesson of the day- allow our kids to slow us down and help us around the house. And realize that their help is not meant to make me more efficient, but instead teach me to enjoy work (and in turn preventing me from teaching my son to dread work).

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