Since Kerrington was a baby I have always been one to talk to her like she was an adult, and simply explain to her various tasks that I was doing. I also tell her why I am doing whatever it is that I am doing. I believe that by doing this it laid the groundwork for cultivating life skills now that she is a toddler.
Now that she is getting older I am a firm believer that letting her “help”, even if it takes a bit longer to achieve any given task. It is essential to teaching her life skills while cultivating a sense of responsibility that I pray will grow in her little heart as she grows.
I used to be adamant about quiet time in God’s Word and workouts needing to be done before she ever woke up in the mornings because otherwise they just wouldn’t get done. I really needed both to get done to be fueled for the long day of mommin’ to come.
While I do still utilize my First 5 app from Proverbs 31 in the mornings as soon as I wake up, I now let her play and watch me while I work out. I also pull out my Write the Word Journal when we are playing instead of waiting to do it while she naps.
I want to teach Kerrington by example. The only way I can that is to give her the opportunity to watch me, help me, and for me to give her the space to learn on her own.
How do I want to cultivate life skills?
I want her to see me faithfully open my Bible along with my Write the Word journal each day and hear me read the scriptures over her. To know that we really need Jesus every minute of every hour. Keep reading for an exciting giveaway!
I want her to watch me while I work out, and take care of my self and body. Even if it means needing to focus extra hard while she crawls underneath me while I am trying to do push-ups, or twist back and forth yelling, “twist mama!” while I am doing Russian twists.
I want her to see me washing dishes, and know that she can always sit on the counter with and wash too, and it’s “no big deal” to get water everywhere on accident. Also while learning that we “wash dishes with hot water!” because it gets them cleaner.
I want her to see her daddy and I working together on various projects (most recently, our floating shelf K built for me that just doesn’t sit right on the wall because it’s bowed) and to know we problem solve to figure it out together, not get frustrated.
I want her to continue to enjoy helping out with seemingly mundane tasks like laundry because I take the time and have patience while she goes and gets her dirty clothes from her room. I get to watch her delight in putting them in the washer, in the dryer, and then proclaim, “fold clothes today mama.” Then also giving her reassurance when she folds the washcloths (read: bundle up in a ball!) but giving her praise for a job well done.
I want her to grow up learning responsibility, while knowing we can have fun, make messes. We can pull all the babies out, but at the end of the day we pick up whatever it is that we got out to have fun with, and we tidy up.
I want her to know how to handle frustration by taking a deep breath because she sees us proactively handle stress and frustration by working through it, not screaming and throwing ourselves on the floor.
I love watching her sense of wonder doing what mama does, and wanting to do it as well.
For our family, we cultivate life lessons everyday by simply just having the patience to teach as we go through life, and provide room for learning and making messes.
PS. Images by Ryan Price Photography