“My big sister made yolky eggs for breakfast. I had to butter the toast—which is the worst job ‘coz it takes FOREVER. It’s worth it when I push a corner of the toast into the yolk, and the yellow puddle oozes out. I love yolky eggs.”*
Preschoolers can be so dramatic (as evidenced by Jonathan thinking that it takes FOREVER to butter the toast in today’s excerpt!). But you know, that is part of what I love most about them. One of my best friends has grandchildren. Specifically, she has two granddaughters from two different sons that are within a month or two of each other in age, both five years old. I could literally sit for hours and watch them talk to each other—all the drama that two darling little girls can manufacture, pulling their hair out of their face, eyes wide with expression, whispering…oh the drama of preschoolers.
Today’s passage from “Jonathan’s Journal” makes an important point about preschoolers—make them part of the family routine! They love to do. To be a part. To feel important. And incorporating them into the daily routine of chores, schedules, and family doings helps them feel a part—and feel important.
We liked to give our children as difficult of jobs and as much work as they could reasonably handle. We never gave them token jobs. (More on this in a few days, honest!) I can remember Jakie, when he was five, coming home from a family’s house and exclaiming: “Do you know what Stevie does for his chores? He unloads the SILVERWARE! That is humiliating. I would be so embarrassed if the only job I could do was unloading the silverware!”
We have laughed about this story over and over—but he makes a good case for not giving children token jobs only! We have found that the more challenging the jobs, the more training the children receive to do those jobs, the more they rise to the occasion. And they are so proud of their accomplishments when they do tackle harder work.
We stressed from early ages that our family needed each member. That each one contributed to the family in important ways. We always pointed out the ways that each child made our family successful—the chores that they handled way beyond their years, the load that was lightened by each one’s contribution, the vast amounts of work that could be accomplished thanks to each person. Make your preschooler part of the family routine—but not just any part. Make him an important, needful part—and let him know that he is!
*For the complete story of “Jonathan’s Journal, follow this link: http://positiveparenting3-6-5.blogspot.com/2010/03/day-seventy-eight-introducing-jonathans.html