My little helpers

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It’s a fact.  It is easier, most of the time, to do things WITHOUT help from little hands.  I make less mess, get things done more quickly and enjoy my own thoughts in the quiet.

No thanks guys. I got it. That was very nice of you to ask.

Then I can have my quiet time and get things done efficiently.  And so it often goes.  Until recently.

In A Gracious Space by Julie Bogart, she has a selection on this very issue and states:

“People want to be helpful. Sometimes we train them to lose that desire.” (p. 41)

BAM!  Could I be training my kids to STOP helping me?

I had to stop and give this some very serious consideration.

“In other words – if you want helpers in your family, accept the help they offer with enthusiasm, support them in being helpful by teaching them the skill they want to offer, and if they are capable of doing the task without you, walk away and let them do the whole job so they get to see where they were helpful (not merely supervised and scolded). Let them see that you are relaxing and enjoying the help they are giving you.”  (p. 40)

This is not easy. When kids help with my tasks, it usually takes longer, gets messier, and often isn’t done the way I might want it.  So I turn them down.

I paused that evening and began to wonder about the message I was sending my kids when I kindly turn down their offer for help.

1-IMG_5417The very next morning, I was still pondering this passage when my daughter came in the kitchen.  She was bored and sat down.  I took the initiative and asked her if she’d like to help me.

“Yes!” was her enthusiastic response.

She chopped up lemons for me and helped make a big pitcher of lemon water for dinner.

She told me how happy she was to be helping me over and over and over.  Which made me realize all the more that…

There is no place for efficiency when building relationship.

(If you are interested in the same homeschooling encouragement, you can find the books by Julie below.  NotBefore7 is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


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