After a conversation with a friend recently, I dug up this article I wrote a few years ago...
???Mommy, put your hand over mine.??? Demanded my 3 year old son to his surprised mom. We were making cookie dough and I was reluctantly allowing him to participate. I am one of those moms who dislike messes and I tend to stress out when my kids help me turn a messy job into a REALLY messy job.
???Mommy is always working, and I want to be working too!??? This so well expresses the toddler who hovers near his mother in the kitchen, always wanting to be involved. This same toddler may many times be redirected by his mother. ???Go and play with your toys.??? She might say, thinking of her agenda for the day and how in the world she is going to accomplish everything that needs to be done. Over a period of time, when consistently redirected thus, a child will begin to lose interest in the tasks of his mother, preferring instead to play with his toys. This child is being trained well. ???Mommy will do all the work. My job is just to play.??? When he is a little older, it may be difficult to change this child???s worldview. A mother may think that her child is old enough now to begin doing chores. She may approach her 7-year old, or her 9-year old or her 12-year old with a job he or she is now responsible for. She may be greeted with a blank stare, or an incredulous look or outright rebellion. But certainly not the delighted participation which a toddler exhibits. Training your child to stay with you is so important. To slow down, escape from your agenda and simply delight in his presence and efforts is difficult if it is not your habit. But the alternative will leave a mother in shame (Proverbs 29:15). Jesus set for us the perfect example in the scriptures. He said ???My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.??? There is nothing more wonderful in this life than to participate in the Father???s work. To let Him put His hand over ours and help Him. Let us not deny our children the same joy.
As God began to teach me this truth, I asked Him to loosen me up. One day we were in the kitchen making cookie dough and He really answered this prayer! We ended up using our fingers to mix the dough and the mess was unbelievable. But mommy was cool and the delight of the children was contagious. IT was sooo worth it!