One thing I heard over and over again on our big month long trip was.....
"Addyson is such a helper!" and that she is!!! She wants to be a part of everything that is part of daily life where she can help! She LOVES it! She wants to help with dishes, folding towels and clothes, and cooking along with many other things! When we were on our trip, Addyson often did my share of the kitchen help!!!! It was great! : )
I already knew she loved to help and I was trying to think of a way to put that helper drive to good work and to use it as a form of reward. I had come up with the idea before our trip to use "helping in the kitchen" as a reward for good (or lack of bad) behavior but I just wasn't sure what that would look like. But, I knew that was her "language" I had been searching and searching for!
See, Owen loves sports which makes it easy to reward him or "punish" him. We add or take away sport items or activities and it works great with him! I speak his language and it hits home with him!! Addyson, however, isn't motivated by much. She isn't attached to any toys or other items. She doesn't need to carry around a baby. She doesn't need to buy a baby. Actually, if she buys something it is mainly for the act of buying and then she soon sets the item aside. Then it dawned on me, while I might not think that putting away the dishes is such an awesome reward or I might not enjoy chopping peppers into little pieces.... Addyson DOES and that is all that matters!
So when Addyson asked to use the sharp knife to help me make dinner the other night Brad said, "Absolutely NOT" and I hesitated... but she kept asking and something told me she was ready.... see, I am trying to get better at expecting more from my kids or letting them work to their full potential... I'm trying not to hold them back. So, I gave her the sharp knife, the small cutting board (the one she always requests), and the pepper and she went to work! She did GREAT!!! Cutting the pepper into pieces as small as I did! She tells us over and over again, "I will not cut myself!" and she didn't.... and she hasn't! And part of her getting to help in the kitchen also means that she has to use proper knife etiquette and I strongly enforce that! This is now our tradition. If she is good and a good listener she gets to help me make dinner! And with my latest challenge of eating more at home, she gets to help out a lot! Actually, we are both helping each other stick to good choices! I have to made dinner at home more in order to giver her her reward at the end of a good day! Addyson has become my kitchen helper and she loves it! I love it! It has been a great time for the two of us every evening! And I love that it helps her make good choices throughout the day! : )