Monday, October 21, 2013

Responsibility

Book featured: The Table Sets Itself - written by Ben Clanton 
Responsibility doesn't begin when you become an adult. It starts at a much younger age. In the Darling home, we believe that teaching responsibility early gives children the tools they need to help navigate through their little world.

At the age of five, Izzy is biting at the bit to help us around the house. This is a wonderful thing, but it  can sometimes be more of an inconvenience, especially during the days when we are working on a timeline (five year old hands are so loving but they are not as fast at leveling out flour as their adult supervisor).  A few months ago, we decided to give Izzy certain responsibilities at home. They include feeding our dog Sailor, setting the table for supper and clearing her plate from the table after our meal.  We felt that three was a good number of tasks to start with so that the responsibility was not too overwhelming for her, but it was enough to make her feel accomplished and helpful.

Before introducing Izzy to her new responsibilities at home, we gave her a wonderful book entitled, "The Table Sets Itself" by Ben Clanton. This charming book is a must have for every child's library, and it was especially relevant for our family because it is about a little girl named Izzy who is given the responsibility of setting the table. She learns the proper places for each piece and delights in completing the job every night with the help of her friends, Dish, Fork, Knife Spoon, Cup and Napkin ... that is until the place-setting and Izzy decide it's time for a change...  Our Izzy delighted in this entertaining story and after reading it she was excited to take on her own responsibilities.

Izzy is thriving with her new responsibilities and she performs them with great pride. I often hear her whispering to Sailor that she snuck a few extra pieces of dog food in her bowl. Our place settings have never looked more well set and the look of satisfaction on her face as she carefully brings her plate to the sink is priceless.  I love seeing her so proud of herself and since beginning her new tasks, I have already seen a shift in her awareness of her surroundings. The other day she saw me struggling to put a slipcover back over a cushion and without being asked, she said, "Here Mommy, let me help you. It looks like you're having a hard time". I threw the whole mess over my head and grabbed my girl and gave her kisses until she begged to be released. I explained why I was so happy and her response was nonchalant, "Well, I am a big girl now. I help every day".

Time will add more responsibilities to her list and ours, but for now, we are all happy with where we stand. Our little darling has three little chores and a big heart full of pride. What more can a parent ask for?

With love,
Mrs. Darling

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