When I read Homeschooling our Children, Unschooling Ourselves, sometimes little ideas would speak to me, not necessarily about homeschooling. One was about keeping our children in our lives. The author met a homeschooling family who was explaining their transition to homeschooling.
When Mary's children had been in school, she had never felt inclined to include them in the everyday tasks she had to perform as a parent. When she sent them out the door to school, she "sent them out of her life...." After making the decision to homeschool, Mary's attitude toward them changed. When they complained about having to tag along on errands, or demanded attention as she tried to prepare mals, she reconsidered their situation....Now Mary realized that she had to offer them more opportunities to join with her in the day's activities. (page 51)I go through phases of this. I was really good about involving Margaret in my day at one point, but I've recently been in a "I'll just wait until her nap" phase. And then when her nap comes around, I have quite the list and since a lot of my knitting has due dates (Christmas is coming up!) I do knitting and get nothing else done. Knitting or chores? Is that really a difficult choice?
I involve her a lot on errands. In stores I talk to her a lot: "Should we get this? Or this? What do you want for dinner? The blue one looks nice, right?" But at home, she plays (which is what she's supposed to do) and I don't do anything.
So I've been including her again since reading that section. She helped me wipe down the fronts of the cabinets the other day. I gave her a washcloth and sprayed the cabinets down with some human-friendly vinegar and water. She loved being a part of it and by the end of it was trying to drink the cleaner from the spray bottle.
I just needed the reminder. I'll probably need this reminder a few weeks from now too.