Small children (ages 2 and 3) have a strong desire to help and imitate adult work. With their limited verbal vocabulary, they express interest in the only way they are able.

mop floorThe window of opportunity doesn’t last forever, and many adults miss it.

Some want to wait until the child is competent to do the dishes before letting them help. Will it take longer than if you did it yourself? Absolutely. You’ll definitely have to re-wash those dishes later when the child isn’t looking. Will they break something? Very likely, although you can pull out the breakables beforehand and let them wash pans and plasticware and spoons.vacuumOther adults miss the cues because the child is not asking to help, but when offered a rag and shown how to wipe dust off furniture, children participate with gusto.Toy manufacturers produce all kinds of household machinery, which make great gift ideas for relatives looking for something at birthday time.

The point isn’t getting the dishes done or the furniture clean.

It’s helping the child learn, gain confidence and find contentment in working independently.

It is another way that we nourish a child’s mental, physical and spiritual self all at once.

Tweetable: Toddlers gain confidence and find contentment when we let them work, though we have to re-do it later. Click To Tweet