Today, my 5yo was such a help to me. I've been teaching him to do certain tasks related to laundry (which I abhor). Instead of giving him the whole heap, I had him do little chunks of activity:empty the dryer into the hamper, bring the hamper full of clean clothes to me. I folded and sorted. I sent him on several tiny missions:take Mommy's socks to her drawer and put them in. Do you know where Mommy's sock drawer is? take Mommy's underwear and put them in her drawer, like this, see? and so it goes. He was happy to do small jobs with a little help from me and it really did lighten my load. He put away all the socks and underwear for the whole family (and reduced my workload considerably). I was SO thankful and proud....I am reaping the benefits of spending time teaching him what I expect.
A couple o' things stand out as I reflect on the events of this afternoon:
1) Learning doesn't happen after teaching just once but it is a series of steps mastered one at a time and not necessarily in logical order. Spending the time now to teach him will be an incredible asset when he's mastered it all...I'll be able to hand the responsibility over to him and feel reasonably sure it'll be done close to the way he was taught.
2)He thrives on being able to show off his skills. I think he does feel some sort of satisfaction when he's done a good job or when he's learned something new. I need to construct learning opportunities for him like this.
3)He does not see things as I see them. I'm going to have to remember that though he's learned a lot about what I expect or how life is on Planet Mommy, he's still an alien visitor and must be treated as such.
What a treat it is to see him growing in this way. He is such a treasure!