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She walks around the living room putting her toys back where they belong, or at least in their general vicinity, and with our supervision she feeds the fish she named Elsa. After dinner, she marches her plate across the kitchen and places it on the counter beside the sink and just before bed she puts her dirty clothes in the laundry basket tucked away in the corner of her closet and she’s done so for several weeks now.

We’re starting her young. Her mother and I want to teach her a little about responsibility and teamwork and the importance of working towards a reward all the while earning it in the process. At the end of a week where she successfully completed her chores more often than not, we hand her a dollar to put in her ceramic elephant bank occupying the corner of her dresser. Sometimes she puts it in her purse, a shiny bag of glitter with a zipper and a strap, before making the transfer to her bank.

Does she always listen? No. She’s three years old and anyone who has had the luxury of communicating with someone of her age knows listening is more of a challenge than the actual task given.  However, developing a routine and making it a habit has surprisingly come easy for her… except the putting her toys away part. She struggles with that one most of all, but every time I see her on her tip toes sliding a plate onto the counter without any prompting from us I feel a small sense of accomplishment.

If for every mistake we make along the way in parenting, for every time we lost our patience quicker than we anticipated, for every hasty decision made when we wished for a few more moments to deliberate, for everything we’re doing wrong those glimpses of truth that we’re doing something right makes it all worthwhile.

2 comments

  1. Thank God for small victories. There are so many defeats to endure, but these tiny bits of encouragement are what keep us going.

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    Replies
    1. There's so much truth in that statement.

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